If you are a cop and tired of wearing a heavy kevlar jacket, may be this will be good news for you. Scientists are working on an armored cotton t-shirt that you may be interested in getting one. It is light, flexible and possess the properties of the third hardest material on the planet, boron carbide.
Researchers from China, Switzerland and the US were able to achieve this breakthrough. They found that the durable porous nature of cotton fibers is ideal for creating a nano-composite in which boron carbide (B4C) is used to reinforce the material to provide strength and flexibility.
Tests were done where squares were cut from 100% cotton T-shirts soaked in a solution of boron powder and a nicket-based catalyst and treated for 1100 degrees centigrade for four hours and was found that cotton fibers change to carbon fibers and reach with Boron to produce B4C.
Botton line is the T-shirts change colors but retain their flexible properties and their strengths enhanced by B4C.
The technology is being worked on and it might be years before it replaces kevlar, if it ever does. Well if you are in the armed forces for now, stay tuned is all I have to say 🙂