Composite metal foams (CMF) stops bullets, radiation and cures cancer


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well, maybe not the last bit, but it's still pretty cool.

Foam body armor? Even armor-piercing bullets cannot get through this foam.

And the foam doesn’t just stop bullets. It destroys them…this foam decimates bullets into dust.

North Carolina State University Professor Afsaneh Rabiei led the team that created the amazing foam.

This is not ordinary foam like the kind used for shaving, for example. This is a special type of foam called composite metal foams, or CMF.

The military and law enforcement could use this kind of foam for advanced, ultra light body armor to protect personnel.

And this research team has other foams up its sleeve that have the potential to keep military and first responders safe from radiation and extreme heat too.
This foam is able to stop and block X-rays. In tests, it can even protect against various forms of gamma rays.

The researchers found that the high-Z foam was comparable to bulk materials at blocking high-energy gamma rays, but was much better than bulk materials – even bulk steel – at blocking low-energy gamma rays.

Similarly, the high-Z foam outperformed other materials at blocking neutron radiation.

The high-Z foam performed better than most materials at blocking X-rays, but was not quite as effective as lead.

“However, we are working to modify the composition of the metal foam to be even more effective than lead at blocking X-rays – and our early results are promising,” Rabiei says. “And our foams have the advantage of being non-toxic, which means that they are easier to manufacture and recycle. In addition, the extraordinary mechanical and thermal properties of composite metal foams, and their energy absorption capabilities, make the material a good candidate for various nuclear structural applications.”

The paper, “Attenuation efficiency of X-ray and comparison to gamma ray and neutrons in composite metal foams,” is published in Radiation Physics and Chemistry. Lead author is Shuo Chen, a recent Ph.D. graduate at NC State. The paper was co-authored by Mohamed Bourham, a professor of nuclear engineering at NC State. The work was supported by DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy under Nuclear Energy University Program grant number CFP-11-1643.

... The bullet in the video is a 7.62 x 63 millimeter M2 armor piercing projectile, which was fired according to the standard testing procedures established by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). And the results were dramatic. (The video can also be found at

“We could stop the bullet at a total thickness of less than an inch, while the indentation on the back was less than 8 millimeters,” Rabiei says. “To put that in context, the NIJ standard allows up to 44 millimeters indentation in the back of an armor.” The results of that study were published in 2015. ...