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Blend of germanium & silicon fibres can stop bullets
28
Apr '10
A scientist from the University of Texas, Austin, Brian Korgel, has created a soft tissue paper-like fabric with the help of fragile material, germanium, and silicon. Each of these contains fibres that could prove to be as strong as those found in the Kevlar fabric, which is used to produce bullet-proof clothing.

Considering that both germanium and silicon can be woven into traditional material or be implanted into hard variety of plastics, proves that, the nanowires created from these could possibly be the next-gen material that can be used for either, making bullet-proof clothing and/or for generating solar energy.

Wood fibres when squeezed together help in the production of paper. Similarly, in the aforementioned case, Korgel took a bulk quantity of the semiconductors, turned them into nanowires and finally condensed them together to create soft tissue paper-like fabric.

Unlike bulk quantity of germanium which is easily breakable and hard, the germanium tissue paper-like fabric is supple and bendable. The individual nanowires are so strong that they bear same kind of strength-to-weight ratio when compared to the Kevlar fabric.

Therefore, unlike bulk quantity of germanium that will break with a single blow, this fabric is able to absorb blows, thereby, retaining its consistency. However, Korgel feels that, it is yet too early to comment on whether germanium could enter the list of materials used in producing normal bullet-proof clothing.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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