In your day-to-day life, you probably don’t have to dodge and deflect arrows too often. (Unless you’re some kind of medieval YouTuber.) But that doesn’t mean we should give up on the notion of maneuverable armor. Or, at the very least, look into this new chain mail-inspired smart fabric that researchers created. This fabric helps to keep people safe, though more from back injuries than projectiles.
Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and Caltech in the U.S. have invented a new chain mail-esque smart fabric. Assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Nanyang Tech, Wang Yifan, led the team. Together the scientists aimed to demonstrate the viability of “structured fabrics” consisting of “three-dimensional particles” arranged into layered chain mails. In essence, they were investigating smart fabrics with individual interlocking pieces that can change their shape but maintain rigidity.
“Inspired by ancient chain mail armor, we used plastic hollow particles that are interlocked to enhance our tunable fabrics’ stiffness,” Yifan told
As for Wang and his team’s chain mail, it actually works in conjunction with vacuum bags rather than magnetic fields. The full paper on the process is in the journal
“To further increase the material’s stiffness and strength, we are now working on fabrics made from various metals including aluminum, which could be used for larger-scale industrial applications requiring higher load capacity, such as bridges or buildings,” Yifan told