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combatshotgun

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Reply with quote  #1 
Admin:  I am posting this story because most of the advances in Ballistic Armor come from a Military application and where this material has no application yet in our civilian world, it will one day.   Civilian vehicles with this foam filled in the panels could make these vehicles affordable to Police Departments.  In the old days (and even no) we were taught that when taking fire get behind the engine block.  With this stuff in the door panels an LEO could be like those Hollywood Cops and shot from behind the open door of the car.   May even make cars civilians could afford.  It could be used in construction of safe rooms in our homes and maybe even a light weight body armor.   And in the story they talk about testing it against M2 .30 caliber Armor piercing rounds, well the M2 is a .50 Cal weapon so either the writer does not know this or it is a typo.   Here is the Story:

A revolutionary new material called Composite Metal Foam, or CMF, can pulverize enemy rounds and could even be used as an armor to protect tanks and other combat vehicles.

Believe it or not, this breakthrough foam may provide greater protection than traditional armor steel plate.

 

It is also far lighter than current armor. How much lighter? This foam has the potential to dramatically reduce the armor weight on combat vehicles by about 65 percent.

This is a discovery with potential to revolutionize future tanks and armored vehicles.

foam armor

Tests continue to prove that this foam not only stops rounds, but it can smash the would-be armor piercing rounds into smithereens.  (U.S. Army)

In addition to defending against direct hits by powerful enemy weapons, the wonder foam may also deliver better protection from explosion blast waves, deadly “cookoffs” and even radiation.

Scientists at North Carolina State University and the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate have been working together on this remarkable foam.

What exactly is it?

Basically, it is foam made out of metal — hence “metal foam.”

Like shaving foam or sea foam, CMF has holes that help make the material spongelike. This Swiss cheeselike structure also helps to make CMF lighter than normal metal. 

Let’s say a tank covered in this foam armor gets a direct hit by one of the enemy's tank main guns. When it strikes the CMF, the foam’s hollow spheres ‒ the “holes” ‒ absorb some of the strike’s energy and help resist damage from the hit.

barrie tank part 2

 (Credit: U.S. Army)

Armor piercing rounds versus the foam

Armor piercing rounds are a serious threat — and a growing threat, as they have become more widely used by enemies of the United States. These rounds are designed to tear through heavy armor like it is aluminum soup can for maximum destruction.

It may seem hard to believe, but tests continue to prove that this foam not only stops rounds, but it can smash the would-be armor piercing rounds into smithereens.

In one test, one inch of this remarkable foam faced off against an M2 .30 caliber armor piercing bullet. The bullet travels with 2,780 foot-pounds of energy and when it makes contact with the foam, that armor piercing round is Hulk-smashed by the foam.

barrie tank part 3

 (Credit: U.S. Army)

Explosions versus the foam

The CMF is also remarkably good at deflecting blast waves.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have unfortunately become a cruel, crude, commonplace weapon for enemies of the United States. The immediate blast and shrapnel can inflict devastating damage to personnel and vehicles. Less well known, these bombs also pose another threat that is not visible.

The explosions yield shock waves and these invisible waves of energy can impact the brain. These waves can cause harm and play a role in traumatic brain injury.

Tests have shown this foam may also provide better protection for warfighters inside a vehicle from these shockwaves.

If a tank is rolling through a war zone and an IED goes off nearby, the foam armor structure helps absorb the blast, better protecting the warfighters inside.

PODCAST: BREACHING ENEMY DOORS + BREACHING BEERS WITH AN AMAZING NAVY SEAL

army tank1

 (Credit: U.S. Army)

Heat versus foam

Tests have shown the foam can provide enhanced protection from heat. When put to the heat challenge, heat took twice as long to pass through the CMF as it did with typical stainless steel.

The foamy holes in the material also play a role in slowing heat transmission.

In practice, this slow heat transmission quality could be vital to save lives. If, for example, heat from a nearby explosion is enough to cause sympathetic detonation of a tank's unfired ammo, then the foam could crucially slow down the travel of this heat.

These “cookoffs” are very serious and deadly. Even seconds can be paramount in giving the warfighters time to leave the tank before it is too late.

Less weight, more protection

Tanks are beasts. The M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, for example, weighs in at more than 60 metric tons, so every pound matters.

Rolled homogeneous armor steel plate is frequently used for tanks and armored vehicles. The new foam has potential to provide enhanced protection — three times lighter than the current armor approach.

Here’s a practical example: A future vehicle could theoretically be kitted out with just 4 tons of CMF, rather than 12 tons of the traditional armor.

This means approximately the same protection, but with armor that is 8 tons lighter.

Imagine what an impact lighter weight could have on future combat vehicles. This remarkable foam would then be providing yet another whole set of advantages, from faster speeds through to more maneuverabilty and agility.

The Army is considering next gen replacements for the M1 Abrams main battle tank and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, both of which will require state of the art, groundbreaking armor.

Allison Barrie is a defense specialist with experience in more than 70 countries who consults at the highest levels of defense and national security, a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees, and author of the definitive guide, Future Weapons: Access Granted, on sale in 30 countries.  Barrie hosts the new hit podcast “Tactical Talk”  where she gives listeners direct access to the most fascinating Special Operations warriors each week and to find out more about the FOX Firepower host and columnist you can click here or follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie and Instagram @allisonbarriehq.

 


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Indigenous Irregular

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Reply with quote  #2 
I think its cool and I hope to see a piece of it someday.  In the mean time ballisticians and weapons scientists are scratching their heads wondering how they can defeat the new armor. 
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entropy

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Reply with quote  #3 
How about ability to take repeated hits? This was Chobham armor's weak point You can only hit it once. Using this stuff for primary armor seems like a dangerous idea. As an adjuct armor, like Chobham, heavy. (Chobham armor is basically panels that explode when hit that are attached to the outside of the tank.) It might stop, M2 AP, but will it stop M829 APFSDS rounds? That's the standard our tank armor needs! It might be OK for whatever replaces the Bradley, but tanks are usually shot at by other tanks, COIN warfare aside. The RPG 7 used in the sandbox isn't effective against the M1. The 2A46M 125mm gun on the T-90 is. 

 

Rounds for the M2 HMG are as follows; M8 AP; (M2 AP is a .30cal round, despite Wikipedia's erronious listing) M33 Ball; M17 Tracer; M20 APIT (Armor Piercing Incindiary Tracer) MK211 AP. 
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combatshotgun

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Reply with quote  #4 
Great reply.  A lot of good facts.  The US Army still plans for massive Tank attacks into Europe from Russia with our Forces and NATO having to repel them.   I am not sure that is even a scenario that would play out in these modern times.  With the Air Assets each side has most of the Tank killing will come from above and not sure any armor will save a Tank in the Modern Battlefield.  Look what our Warthogs did to Sadam's Republican Guard.   I would like to see how much of that destruction was done by Tracked Vehicles instead of Air attacks.  Would be interesting numbers for sure.

Thanks for the info on M2 rounds.  

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AI&P Tactical, LLC
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http://www.tacticalgunslings.com
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Mossberg LE Armorer
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