Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Super Armor

PostedMay 27, 2012

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Anchor Lede: Engineers are analyzing and manipulating the microscopic structure of materials in an attempt to dramatically improve armor that protects soldiers.

Randy Atkins: One class of promising materials for armor is magnesium alloys. Already used in the wheels of some cars, Kaushik Bhattacharya of Caltech says they’re easily molded, can be made in large quantities, aren’t flammable, and…

Kaushik Bhattacharya: …for a given strength it is much lighter than steel and even lighter than aluminum.

Randy Atkins: But these alloys, magnesium combined with certain amounts of other metals, were made by trial and error chemistry. Bhattacharya is now taking a closer look to…

Kaushik Bhattacharya: …understand the materials from the most fundamental quantum mechanical state, to the atomic structure, to the crystal structure, the defects…

Randy Atkins: …in a quest to engineer the ultimate protective armor for our soldiers. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.