The newest development in military armor comes from Israeli-based TorTech, which says it will soon be manufacturing carbon nanotube fiber yarns that it claims to be stronger than Kevlar, yet still flexible and lightweight.
The company says the light, stretchable and extremely strong protective material can be woven into wearable materials. It also plans to develop and manufacture new varieties of body armor and vehicle armor with the same material.
Alan Windle and Martin Pick, who began Q-Flo in 2004, developed a process that winds fiber from an “elastic smoke” consisting of floating carbon nanotubes. The smoke is created by growing carbon nanotubes on tiny floating iron catalysts inside a reactor. This smoke can then be wound up into a continuous fiber. The fiber is so thin that it is barely visible to the naked eye.
In an interview with Nanowerk.com, the CEO of Plasan Group, Dan Ziv, predicts, “Nanofiber with mechanical properties as carbon nanotube fiber could lead to a breakthrough in structural composites and light weight armor applications. This is an exciting venture since we believe Q-Flo’s carbon nanotubes have the potential to revolutionize the defense industry through a new range of lightweight, flexible and incredibly strong armored material.”