By Debbie Gregory.
A senior Air Force cadet, Hayley Weir, has come up with a special recipe. Cadet Weir has invented a very special gravy. This gravy would stop Dirty Harry’s .44 caliber magnum. It is also flexible and can be used to bullet proof critical areas of the body.
The chemistry department drop-out will graduate from the academy this month. The Air Force Academy has some of the best undergraduate research programs anywhere. Cadets in the past have designed satellites, airplanes and more.
Cadet Weir has applied for a patent on her innovative recipe.
Fluids made with substances such as cornstarch are gooey and oozy to the touch, but become hard as steel when struck. This means that when an object travelling with a great deal of force strikes the goo, it runs into something as strong as Superman. And Weir has a collection of mushroom shaped bullets to prove it.
Weir mixed up her secret formula recipe of goo in an academy lab, using a Kitchen aid mixer and vacuum sealed bags flattened into a quarter-inch layer and Kevlar fabric.
“It’s all about the layering,” said Weir.
Weir’s idea took hold when she partnered with Ryan Burke, a former Marine and an academy military and strategic studies professor. Burke realized that Weir had stumbled on to something of value.
Burke believes that this goo will make a huge difference to Marines in the field. He called some Marine Corps contacts that shipped materials to test the bullet stopping goo.
The goo was first tested on a gun range known as “Jack’s Valley,” a training area on the north end of the academy campus. Weir and Burke hit the armor, one shot after another, with 9mm fire power. The goo stopped all the bullets. They then tested it with a .44 magnum and despite the greater weight of the bullet and its higher velocity, the goo armor worked even better.
It appears that the bigger the impact, the bigger the molecular jam, and the greater the ability to resist penetration of the bullets. Weir’s goo has the potential to replace steel plate as armor.
Weir’s goo has researchers thinking big. Wafering the goo into fabric could lead to tents that can resist mortar and artillery fire. Weaving the goo into a blanket could provide firefighters and police protection when they work to pull victims from mass-shooting crime scenes. On the battlefield, this goo could become body armor that protects the entire body instead of just the torso now given to troops.
We wish Haley Weir great success with her potentially life-saving goo.
So this goes to show that regardless of how wild and crazy an idea might seem, it can work and make a difference.