AMHERST, Mass., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have found graphene to be twice as effective as traditional materials in bulletproof vests.
The research, published in Science Magazine Friday, was done by creating a small ballistics range. Researchers aimed a powerful laser at gold filaments until they exploded into micron-sized fragments that would impact the layers of graphene.
They tested between 10 and 100 layers of graphene, with the projectiles striking at 3,000 meters per second.
The researchers found graphene absorbs impact twice as well as Kevlar, and it's 10 times better at absorbing energy than steel. The researchers found that while graphene absorbs more energy, larger holes are created at the impact site. They suggested combining graphene with other materials to combat any cracking problems.
Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon that appears as a transparent sheet known for conducting heat and electricity.