High-Kinetic-Energy Penetrator Shielding and High-Wear-Resistance Materials Fabricated with Boron Nitride Nanotubes and BNNT Polymer Composites
- Magazine Article
In recent years, anti-penetration materials have been more widely used for armor, bulletproof vests, and micrometeoroid and orbital debris protection layers for space-suits, space vehicles, and structures. Micrometeoroids develop very high kinetic energies as they travel through space, and pose a significant hazard to spacecraft and astronauts. The velocities of micrometeorites can reach 20 kilometers per second prior to impact on the lunar surface. Therefore, a new protective system utilizing new materials is needed to effectively shield the space vehicles and structures against the high-kinetic-energy penetrators as well as provide penetration-resistant spacesuits. In order to maximize the protection ability against high-kinetic-energy penetrators, the following two major material properties should be considered: high hardness for rebounding and/or gross mechanical deformation of the penetrator, and high toughness for effective energy absorption during the mechanical deformation (and heating) of the protecting materials.