Researchers at Rice University have developed a complex polyurethane nanomaterial that could potentially stop bullets right in their tracks. The researchers say that while the material may not withstand larger bullets, 9mm bullets could easily be stopped by the material, and have the entryway sealed behind it before it could fully penetrate.
During testing, the researchers were able to shoot tiny glass beads at the material, and it effectively stopped the beads in their paths. The group of researchers, which also includes a team from MIT, were initially looking for methods to make materials “more impervious to deformation or failure,” as well as be more bulletproof than what current materials offer.
The result, researchers say, would be better, stronger, and lighter armor for soldiers and police, as well as an advanced bulletproof glass that could be used for armored vehicles. The new polyurethane material works by melting itself into a liquid that would stop a bullet and seal the hole that the bullet made.
Essentially, anything shot at the material would result in no shattering or breaking of anything, which means that if this gets implemented into glass, impact from bullets wouldn’t shatter or crack the glass, but would rather melt around the bullet causing only slight deformation of the glass. The research and experiments of the new material is still in its early stages, so no specifics were given as far as if or when we might expect the material to hit mainstream.