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Unlike Newtonian liquids such as water, the Shear-Thickening Fluid (STF) hardens on impact from a projectile, the report says, offering protection from bullets. The technology has already been touted as a potential replacement for Kevlar in body armor.
Reuters says that the exact composition of the fluid is known only to Poland’s Institute of Security Technologies, known as Moratex, and inventors at the Military Institute of Armament Technology in Warsaw.
Popular Science notes that, with STF (also known as ooblek), a bullet’s force is absorbed by the liquid, and then dissipated outwards through the fluid. STF, which has been described as “bulletproof custard,” consists of hard nanoparticles suspended in a liquid that turns rigid when struck by a projectile.
Deputy Director for Research at the Moratex institute, Marcin Struszczyk explains, "If a protective vest is fitted to the body, then a four centimeter deep deflection may cause injury to the sternum, sternum fracture, myocardial infarction, lethal damage to the spleen".
"Thanks to the properties of the liquid, thanks to the proper formation of the insert, we eliminate one hundred percent of this threat because we have reduced the deflection from four centimeters to one centimeter."