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Bomb-Proof Wallpaper Developed 388

Posted by samzenpus
from the radiation-shielding-curtains dept.
MikeChino writes "Working in partnership with the US Army Corp of Engineers, Berry Plastics has rolled out a new breed of bomb-proof wallpaper. Dubbed the X-Flex Blast Protection System, the wallpaper is so effective that a single layer can keep a wrecking ball from smashing through a brick wall, and a double layer can stop blunt objects (i.e. a flying 2×4) from knocking down drywall. According to its designers, covering an entire room takes less than an hour."

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Bomb-Proof Wallpaper Developed

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  • by TheWizardTim (599546) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:34AM (#30153508) Journal

    But will it blend?

  • Idle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by incognito84 (903401) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:35AM (#30153514)
    Why is this considered idle? It seems like very promising and useful technology.
    • Re:Idle? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rick the Red (307103) <Rick.The.Red@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:30AM (#30153752) Journal

      Seems like this would be a best seller in tornado alley.

    • Re:Idle? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrMista_B (891430) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:48AM (#30153812)

      Because the editors are trying to scam you into thinking Idle isn't the craphole it really is.

    • Re:Idle? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Garridan (597129) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @03:23AM (#30153910)

      Probably because it was a nearly content-free "article" that had a short video clip of some shit getting smashed. Not complaining. It's a huge improvement for "idle"... but there it is.

      However, I seriously doubt that this material would actually protect a house from much. The impact from the wrecking ball broke the brick, and the "paper" held it together. But what happens when you put a roof on, and you set up the bomb? First, your doors and windows are still just as fragile... and if the impact is as strong as the wrecking ball, the entire front of the house loses structural integrity, and caves in. Suddenly, the roof doesn't have enough support, so down it comes on your head.

      • by Yoozer (1055188) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:20AM (#30154354) Homepage

        But what happens when you put a roof on, and you set up the bomb?

        Well, that's obvious and it was explained all over the internet, several years ago.You have no chance to survive. Make your time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hognoxious (631665)

        Suddenly, the roof doesn't have enough support, so down it comes on your head.

        Better yet, the armoured wallpaper makes it impossible for rescuers to dig you out, or air to get in.

    • Re:Idle? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by msimm (580077) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @03:37AM (#30153970) Homepage
      Because idle is a failed concept still looking for a justification.
    • Samzenpus seems to make all of the idle posts, perhaps his submissions are set to idle by default?
  • by rich3rd (559032) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:35AM (#30153516)

    i think i need underpants made out of this stuff.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Might reduce the BSOD freq.

  • Kevlar (Score:4, Insightful)

    by inKubus (199753) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:42AM (#30153548) Homepage Journal

    It looks like it's just self-stick Kevlar. So it's going to be hideously expensive. However, maybe the Army overpaying for it will help them find advanced production methods to cut costs and benefit us in the long run. But then what? Possible uses: line car gas/hydrogen tanks with it. But aside from that and protecting masonry walls from disintegrating in an explosion, I can't see any practical use. As a commenter on the article site said, what if this is a load bearing wall? Looks like it would just fold up and take the building with it. Great, no shrapnel, I get it. But as cool a future would be where every building is bomb proof, I don't see it happening before a nanotech alternative that's self-healing and much better at linear support.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RobVB (1566105)

      But as cool a future would be where every building is bomb proof, ...

      Then they'll just make bigger bombs. If Greek and Roman armies never used leather and chain mail armor, people would still (?) be robbing liquor stores with bows and arrows.

      • Re:Kevlar (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:00AM (#30153636)
        Um, you might want to check your history again. The longbow was the weapon that made plate body armor obsolete.

        As for the other thing, that's the whole idea: better armor makes them develop bigger bombs. That is a back-and-forth that has been going on for centuries.
        • by X0563511 (793323)

          Mail [wikipedia.org] armor isn't plate - though it usually goes with and supplements plate armor. Though, yea - leather armor would be mostly useless regarding bows.

          • Re:Kevlar (Score:4, Informative)

            by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:38AM (#30153786)
            Mail (chain) armor was generally less useful against arrows than plate to start with... that is one of the reasons that plate armor was developed in the first place. But if you think that mail armor was often a supplemen (worn under) plate armor, you are mistaken. It might have been in rare instances, but in general plate armor was enough of a burden that any other metal would have weighed far too much and further hampered the warrior's effectiveness in battle. Plate was the "ultimate' body armor. It may have had some mail at weak points such as armpits but in general mail and plate were not worn together.
            • Re:Kevlar (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @03:28AM (#30153926)
              I should qualify this a bit. A major problem with mail was that arrows tended to punch through it. Especially arrows that had a long sharp point, designed to work against mail. It might not penetrate enough to be a killing shot but that's rather irrelevant in battle: the idea is to make as many of the enemy as ineffective as possible. A couple of flesh wounds can take out a combatant; it need not be an arrow through the heart.

              So some groups started attaching plates to their mail in front, in order to better deflect the arrows. (And other blows: they then realized that plates tended to spread the impact of other weapons as well, minimizing injury.) Plates worked so well that a few groups got the idea that covering the whole body in plates would make the ultimate warrior. And indeed, from s defensive standpoint, plate armor withstood sword blows and thrusts and also arrows much better than any of the older stuff did.

              Henceforth, the elite classes would wear plate armor, and the lower classes would use mail or leather or lesser forms of armor. But the only time when mail and plate were commonly used together (i.e., large quantities of both plate and mail), was in that earlier, intermediate period when plates were added to mail as an add-on, as it were.

              This is definitely not intended as a complete history, but a brief summary and generalization. Still, the main point is that among other things, the bow and arrow drove the change from mail to plate armor, and then, with the development of the longbow, made that obsolete as well.

              Amazing what can be done with some bent pieces of wood.
              • Re:Kevlar (Score:4, Informative)

                by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @06:00AM (#30154496)

                This, also, is misleading. Some of the most spectacular remaining samples and artwork of armor are plate, but are for _jousting_. Like modern bomb-proof armor, what is worn for such a specialized use is far bulkier, more expensive, and heavier than actual combat armor. And even the best plate was often supplemented at joints such as knees and elbows and hands, with chain where making joints out of plate would be too awkward or expensive.

                Also, the better plate of the Middle ages was certainly capable of stopping the ordinary "clothyard shaft" of the longbow. The tips of the clothyard shaft were typically rather soft, inexpensive steel: it _flattens_, bends, and glances off with even a quite direct hit on a good quality breast plate or helmet. (Yes, I've seen this tried.)

                It is misleading to say "the bow and arrow drove the change" when the bow and arrow predate civilizaiton: plate armor does not. Other factors include the introduction of the _inexpensive_ long bow: the price of a single armored knight was easily undercut by the price of 20 farm boys with bows, and they could produce an arrow storm that would not only kill the knight's less armored steed, but was likely to put clothyard shafts in his joints. Couple that with a muddy field where a knight's boots and heavy armor will bog down, such as occurred at Agincourt, and the yeomen with daggers could easily beat the French knights to death, force their visors into the mud to drown, and shove daggers into their eye slits.

                The concept of "plate" long predates the middle ages, remember: even the Greeks and wealthiest Egyptins had breast plates or bronze, quite effective against the weapons of their time. Their efforts were limited by weight and the strength of the metal, but it was certainly the ancestor of "plate".

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by ShakaUVM (157947)

                "
                This is definitely not intended as a complete history, but a brief summary and generalization. Still, the main point is that among other things, the bow and arrow drove the change from mail to plate armor, and then, with the development of the longbow, made that obsolete as well."

                Uh, no. If anything, the price of plate mail, combined with gunpowder, made it obsolete. At Agincourt, the longbow shots were used to bog down the French knights in plate mail (and to score the occasional hit through an eye slit a

            • Re:Kevlar (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Xest (935314) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @04:38AM (#30154192)

              It's not that simple, different arrow heads were effective against different armour types, this is why sometimes chain was worn with plate.

              Arrows with thin, pointed heads (bodkin arrows) were more effective against chain mail armour because they could pierce between the links and split them much more effectively than wide edged broadhead arrows could.

              In contrast, bodkins weren't terribly effective against plate - not so much because of the shape, but because they were rarely hardened. Whilst hardened broadheads fired from longbows could penetrate plante they were far from the death's knell of plate, hence why the Spanish conquistadors in South America were plenty happy to use it still despite the natives being extremely skilled archers having indepently created longbows.

              The real death's knell for plate was the spread of firearms, something the native people of South America did not generally have (they had looted weapons and such but not widespread) as a weapon to fight back against the conquistadors.

              Even certain silk armour was popular in some parts of the world, because it didn't tear when hit by a broadhead and so the silk could be used to remove the head preventing infection from the arrow head. It would sometimes be used under chain, plate or both.

              Really, it's just not as simple as longbow beats plate, the only weapon to successfully have a long reign against pretty much all types of personal body armour has been the firearm until the invention of kevlar.

              • Re:Kevlar (Score:4, Informative)

                by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:30AM (#30154386)
                Okay, having looked this up again (I hadn't for some time), I will have to back down from my position that the longbow killed plate armor. But the longbow did demonstrate that it was no longer the panacea it had been (as at Agincourt and other examples), and it gradually faded starting about then, through the advent of early firearms, and basically died in the form of full-body armor not long after.

                While I am not "calling bullshit", as it were, I find the story of the silk armor to be a bit incredible. I am pretty familiar with silk and its properties. I am not saying it was not popular, or that there were not stories, but I seriously question the effectiveness of any quantity of silk that anyone but a "noble born" could afford, as armor.

                What I can say with authority, however, is that kevlar, by itself, is not and has never been particularly effective against "firearms" in general. It can prevent the penetration of certain handgun rounds, but by no means all, and still allows considerable damage to the wearer. For the most part kevlar vests were worn by law enforcement and the military to reduce damage, not prevent it. Even for the handgun calibers that kevlar would normally stop, pointy jacketed and/or hardened slugs can still penetrate kevlar like butter. Even relatively low-power rifles will punch straight through a kevlar vest.

                However, the combination of kevlar and high-tech ceramics ("Dragon Skin" is probably the best example) can withstand a hit from a relatively high-powered rifle, and with relatively little damage to the wearer. Especially if some of the newer aramid-type fibers are used instead of kevlar. But those developments are VERY recent... no more than a few years.
                • by rekenner (849871)

                  Okay, having looked this up again (I hadn't for some time), I will have to back down from my position that the longbow killed plate armor. But the longbow did demonstrate that it was no longer the panacea it had been (as at Agincourt and other examples), and it gradually faded starting about then, through the advent of early firearms, and basically died in the form of full-body armor not long after.

                  You're at least closer to right, and for that at least, I'm happy. You're still getting your cause and effect mixed up (plate being a panacea that longbows cured, given that ... it was the other way around, in terms of invention dates). And that Agincourt was bad leadership + mud + arrows, not just arrows. Arrows are artillery - They pin you down, break charges, break morale, etc. They're damned useful, but plate was great protection against them as actual damage dealers.

                  I mean, really. Read the actual d

                • I've heard of steppe nomads - mongols or huns - using silk armour. Supposedly it snags on the arrow and wraps round it, making it easier to pull out.

                  But the person you're replying to is making the mistake of confusing bow and longbow.

                  Steppe people would, at least to begin with, fight against other steppe people. Their weapon systems were optimised accordingly. A longbow wouldn't be much use to them.

                • by Xest (935314)

                  Yes, my point with kevlar is not that it mitigates firearms completely, but that up until that point, if someone shot you, you'd almost certainly become combat ineffective for probably the rest of whatever war you're fighting. The introduction of kevlar did at least open the door for many more troops to be back out and fighting anything from straight away or to just a few days. The point is the firearm was no longer something that could just masacre troops en-masse quite like it could used to in in the pre-

            • by rekenner (849871)
              No. Wrong. Totally wrong. Bullshit. Maille was *COMMONLY* worn under maille. Be it in the form of a full maille shirt or a gousset that was only there to fill in the holes.
              Further, plate was not as heavy as you'd believe - The combination of the two was not enough to actually slow a trained knight down, except in terms of long term stamina.

              How did I miss this one earlier, wow?
        • by rekenner (849871)
          And you might want to check *your* history.
          This was mostly not the case. Plate, when taken care of, was very good protection against the longbow. If you didn't take care of it, then shoddy worksmanship would allow it to be pierced in some spots, and of course there were still the joints and such that could be penetrated. (Though, even maille isn't that bad of protection against arrows, either. Bolts, on the other hand, would pierce maille... And plate, at very close distance, and with some luck. So, freak
        • by qc_dk (734452)

          Um, you might want to check your history again. The longbow was the weapon that made plate body armor obsolete.

          You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          Longbows and full steel platemail developed around the same time ~1200's and stayed in fashion until about the 1600's, when the bows were being replaced by guns and plate mail fell out of favour. Note however that platemail protecting the the torso was still popular for cavalry at the time of Frederick II and Napoleon. So platemail lived 400 years together with longbows and outlived bows as an implement of war by another 200, makin

        • Re:Kevlar (Score:5, Informative)

          by rxmd (205533) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:57AM (#30154474) Homepage

          Um, you might want to check your history again. The longbow was the weapon that made plate body armor obsolete.

          Actually it wasn't. Plate armor was widely used in Europe after the Battle of Agincourt in 1415; arguably it gained in popularity.

          It was very difficult to pierce plate with a longbow. The English victory at Agincourt is more due to the terrain than anything else; arguably plalte became even more popular after Agincourt, precisely because it offered reasonable protection against arrows. (Protecting horses etc. was another matter.) The crossbow did a much better job against plate armor. It delivered more kinetic energy, and it took much less time to train a crossbowman than a longbowman. Firearms did the rest in the 15th and 16 century. The single most driving factor, however, was cost - plate armor was too expensive to make and maintain, and if you can hire a whole squad of Landsknechts (arquebusiers, what have you) for the same money it takes to have plate armor made for yourself, the arquebusiers win. At that point, however, longbows had already been obsolete for more than a century.

    • by adamchou (993073)
      I could see them using it in area's affected by hurricane's, typhon's, and maybe tornados. Seems like it'd be good to protect houses from debris flying at 100+ mph.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You forgot the apostrophe in "tornado's",

    • Design the building so the roof is supported by only interior walls and so there are multiple load points, and you have a much better chance of it staying up.
    • Possible uses: line car gas/hydrogen tanks with it. But aside from that and protecting masonry walls from disintegrating in an explosion, I can't see any practical use.

      Dude, you just listed two very practical uses for it! ^^

      I thing wrapping it around anything that might explode sounds like a good idea.

    • by Angostura (703910)

      I can't see any practical use.

      I've ordered some for my 3 year old's bedroom.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:43AM (#30153558)

    If this can stop projectiles from penetrating the wall, then think about the protection it could offer from tornados and hurricanes. Obviously not a direct hit, since there'd be far more structural damage, but how much of that damage caused by flying debris could be mitigated. At the very least, the protection it could offer for occupants.

    • by rekenner (849871) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:56AM (#30153620) Homepage
      Eh.
      Really, it's useless for hurricanes, aside from in places where people wouldn't be prepared for a hurricane anyway.
      At the very least, Florida's building code is such that, for anything built in the last 17 years (at least - I know the standards were strengthened after Andrew), the wind causing impacts is not what does damage - Aside from to windows. It's the the wind speed and pressure differences that destroy roofs and cause structural damage, and flooding that causes the most damage, really.
      Whoo, being a Floridian does have it's uses.
      • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:07AM (#30153662)
        The Mythbusters pretty much put that one to rest. Pressure differential (closed vs. open windows for example) makes almost no difference at all.

        What raises the roof is simply the shape of the roof. It causes lift that pulls it off the house. (Yes, that is a pressure differential, but not in the sense most people mean.) It is not interior pressure blowing the roof off, nor massive negative pressure outside "sucking" the roof off. It is simple aerodynamic lift.
        • by rekenner (849871)
          Fair enough. Different cause than I figured it was, but this wallpapering still wouldn't do anything, though.
  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:45AM (#30153568) Homepage Journal

    Well, it certainly looks interesting, but in the video the wallpaper was anchored very securely at the top and bottom of the test wall. I'd like to see how it does with only the sticky backing of the product itself keeping it on the wall.

  • by The Rizz (1319) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:47AM (#30153584)

    I just have to love any product that will require a whole new type of work for the demolitions industry - wallpaper remover! Would the job title be Interior Undecorator, or Interior Dedecorator?

    • by ls671 (1122017) *

      Hehe ;-)

      Demolition needs to attack the structure. Actually, I think this is a good thing for stopping flying debris so blasting demolition crews won't have to put their own layer of "wallpaper" around the building to stop flying debris, thus making the demolition easier and cheaper ;-))

  • by WarJolt (990309) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:48AM (#30153586)

    Rhino liner works great [rhinolinin...strial.com]

  • I'm going to use this as wallpaper for my desktop. Does that now make my computer bomb-proof?

  • by happyslayer (750738) <david@isisltd.com> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:07AM (#30153664)

    Maybe in the next movie, Superman (or "LL") could put in an order for condoms made out of this material. After all, it would certainly solve a lot of problems [rawbw.com].

  • by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:11AM (#30153674)

    ... you don't have to punch through a wall to otherwise destroy it. Even if this stuff stops a wrecking ball from breaking through a brick wall, can you imagine what kind of a shattered mess it will be in after force of the impact? It will still have be rebuilt from the ground up. The video in TFA demonstrates that: if that block wall had been a load-bearing wall, whatever big weight it was supporting would probably still come crashing down.

  • This stuff needs to be put in the walls of the homes out in hurricane alley. Tactical considerations are nice of course, but in your day-to-day those people could probably use it more. Especially since every so often 2x4s doing 250+ mph are thrown at their homes.

  • by cantbeatL337 (1136549) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:33AM (#30153760)
    As a volunteer firefighter I see this is a horrible idea for being put in use in homes and offices. Im not sure how easily a firefighter will be able to get through the material. If a firefighter becomes lost or disoriented in a building during a fire, one tactic they can use is to find out where the nearest window is and if they can get to it easily. Sometimes they will need to go bust through an interior wall. With this wallpaper I think it would be near impossible to get through the wall which could lead to unnecessary deaths.
    • I'm not sure if you're aware, but many countries have lots of buildings that are basically brick or rock, including internal walls. Firefighters don't die more there than anywhere else.

  • Embed in concrete (Score:5, Insightful)

    by handy_vandal (606174) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:38AM (#30153788) Homepage Journal

    How about embedding kevlar-web in concrete? As a building technique generally. Earthquake resistance?

    • by jpmorgan (517966)
      Technology like this is to retrofit buildings to resist bombings, not for new construction. Linings like this are expensive, but less expensive than rebuilding the wall. And if you ARE building a new wall from scratch, you wouldn't use masonry with a lining either, you'd use pretensioned concrete, which is impressively strong stuff.
  • an unstoppable cannon ball hits and unbreakable wall?
  • Now they can start on that 'Bomb Proof' school desk that my parents hear so much about when they were kids.....

  • A chain's only as strong as it's weakest link. So if this stuff is glued to the walls with anything less strong than it is, that adhesive will become the problem: not the bombproof wallpaper. Presumably "wallpaper" is the wrong term, too as this stuff would have to coat the floor and ceiling (and doors & windows) to be completely effective. Then what would you do if you lost your keys? Move house?
    • by Yold (473518)

      you can see in the video that the "wallpaper" is anchored to the floor and ceiling.

  • If you've seen the damage the average dorm-rat causes, you'd understand why I say it would be just the thing for the dorms.
    (Both College and Military) ;P
  • Esp in areas like Sderot which has been subjected to years of rocket fire from Gaza. I'm sure making houses more bomb proof would go over quite well. I live in Israel but not in Sderot, we actually have a bomb shelter in our house, but we use it as a storage closet.

    • Actually you've got something there except instead of protecting against bombs use it as shown in the video, by protecting homes against being destroyed by wrecking balls.

      The thousands of homes destroyed on the west bank in violation of UN law could have done with some of this wall paper. Though I don't know if even this stuff can stand up to the bulldozers [theregister.co.uk] Israel use against civilians.
  • So why don't we just build the walls out of the same material ?

  • What I want to know is, if I install this wallpaper in my Windows workstation, would it prevent it from crashing?

            -dZ.

  • by gooneybird (1184387) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @07:48AM (#30154878)
    That demonstration is very misleading.

    Observe that the material is not actually fastened to the wall, rather is is anchored to the top of the wall and the bottom of the wall (look at the piece of angle iron in the demo)

    This angle iron also distributes the force across the material, without it, it would just rip out where it was anchored, such as if just screws were used to attach it. I would bet that that piece of angle iron is pretty well tightened...

    If it were truly fastened as wallpaper, then it may prevent the wall from shattering, however the wall would still collapse where the material stopped unless anchored (as in the demo). Hence, instead of pieces of a wall falling on you, the entire wall would just fall on you, probably killing you...

    And yes, the rest of the structure would still collapse on you as well.

    This is probably an advance, however it probably would require new structural building techniques, as well as additional steel anchors/angle iron for it to be truly effective. Not something joe public could ever afford, but I am sure governments could "find" the money.....

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