FAMU-FSU School of Engineering Creates Armor for Troops

By: Sarah Grady
By: Sarah Grady

The recent meeting between Donald Rumsfeld and American soldiers has again shed light on the lack of equipment and protective gear in Iraq, but soon our soldiers may have a new form of armor to strap on, thanks to some local research.

Last month FSU received $100,000 to develop a lifesaving material for troops in Iraq.

Dr. James Thagard says, “We looked at different materials, created different ballistic recipes and then performed the testing.”

A panel that was actually shot with a 357 magnum did stop the bullet. On an actual vest soldiers wear in Iraq, it leaves the arms and legs open and susceptible to injury, but with research at FSU, soldiers may soon be covered from head to toe.

Thagard and his assistant, Blake Collum, say 75 to 80 percent of the soldiers in Iraq are killed not by gunshots, but by shrapnel that severs arteries in the extremities.

Blake Collum says, “I was really excited to see the results and excited to work on something that in the future could save a lot of lives.”

Thagard hopes the new armor will be implemented into the field within a year.


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