Real Life Hurt Locker: The Technology Behind Bomb-Proof Suits
If you happened to see big time Oscar winner, The Hurt Locker, you may have learned a thing or two about bomb defusing. The protective suits worn by the bomb diffusers are indeed real, not just faux Hollywood costumes.
Dvice decided to look further into the technology behind the bomb-proof suits and how they work. They interviewed Pravit Borkar, a ballistics engineer at HighCom Security, a firm that manufactures such bomb-proof suits.
First, check out The Hurt Locker's opening sequence, the infamous slow-mo explosion scene.
Borkar comments on the scene:
"'You see that the technician gets knocked down well before the debris hits him,' says Borkar. 'But how is he killed? That's power of the overpressure wave: because he was relatively close to the device when it exploded, the pulse has probably punctured or collapsed his lungs.'
The overpressure wave is actually the more dangerous of the two. A microsecond after a bomb goes off, the explosion compresses the surrounding air and blows it outward in a lightning-fast shockwave that ripples through clothing and literally flattens internal organs..."
"The 'EOD ensemble,' as Borkar calls the bomb-proof suit, is not simply a body-condom version of a Kevlar vest: 'It's a complex composite product consisting of both rigid and soft armor systems.' These two fundamental layers are designed to defeat the two main threats in an explosion: the overpressure pulse, or shockwave; and the fragmentation, commonly known as shrapnel.
The EOD suit's rigid outer armor layer, the first and most important defense against this threat, is composed mainly of aramids: high-tech synthetic materials that are 'strain-rate sensitive.'
In other words, 'the faster something hits them, the harder they become,' says Borkar. (Kevlar is simply the brand name of an aramid manufactured by DuPont.) The entire front-facing portion of the suit is reinforced from head to toe with hardened composites of two or more aramids, optimized for strength and lightness. This rigid layer can literally reflect or bounce some of the overpressure energy away from the technician, while also repelling flying fragmentation..."
Get the whole story at Dvice.