This origami-inspired shield absorbs handgun bullets

Engineers design a bulletproof origami shield to protect law enforcement

As current shields are so heavy, they are hard to transport and deploy. The shield is made using a dozen layers of Kevlar material, as well as an aluminum-based frame that allows the shield to fold down into a small, compact size.

Because of this, Howell and his colleagues set out to create a shield that was lightweight, portable and compact, and worked well to protect law enforcement. Engineers of the Brigham Young University have designed a light and easy to carry, yet strong Kevlar for police forces that can stop bullets triggered from any handguns. The new origami shield from BYU addresses both those issues by shaving about 40lbs off the weight and offering a design that's large enough to shield multiple people. Now a team at Brigham Young University (BYU) has created a lightweight bulletproof shield inspired by a Yoshimura origami crease pattern.

However, the size of the shield can not cover everyone in one go. The shield proved surprisingly durable during tests.

"Those are significant handguns with power", said Howell. "We suspected that something as large as a.44 Magnum would actually tip it over, but that didn't happen".

Another goal here was to make a bulletproof shield that could not interrupt the stance of a police officer.

"The barrier is very stable, even with large bullets hitting it", he said.

The researchers constructed the barrier prototypes to be extremely stiff and protective throughout, while also maintaining the flexible qualities of Kevlar fabric so they can be folded compactly. The team also believes the barrier could have broader uses, such as for safety in schools or protecting the wounded in emergencies.

Federal agents told the engineering team the product was "revolutionary" and will benefit law enforcement agencies across the country. "Then you can easily fold it up and move it if you need to advance your position".

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