A US Air Force Academy cadet demonstrated that school lessons aren’t just about retreading old ground, by turning a classroom exercise into a new ballistic armor made out of goo. In 2014, Cadet 1st Class Hayley Weir’s assignment to combine epoxy, Kevlar and carbon fiber into an anti-ballistic substance inspired her to develop the task into a new type of flexible bullet stopper.

Composite armors aren’t new and Weir’s assignment was a standard one, but she wasn’t satisfied with the result, which could stop a bullet but was hard and brittle. Following the suggestion of an Academy chemical adviser, she swapped out the epoxy with a shear thickening liquid. Read more

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