Brigham Young University
6,783
  • Bullet-proof origami: folding Kevlar shield designed by BYU mechanical engineers

    315,773 views 4 days ago
    BYU mechanical engineers have created an origami-inspired, lightweight bulletproof shield that can protect law enforcement from gunfire. The new ballistic barrier can be folded compactly when not in use, making it easier to transport and deploy. When expanded — which takes only five seconds — it can provide cover for officers and stop bullets from several types of handguns.

    “We worked with a federal special agent to understand what their needs were, as well as SWAT teams, police officers and law enforcement, and found that the current solutions are often too heavy and not as portable as they would like,” said Larry Howell, professor of mechanical engineering at BYU. “We wanted to create something that was compact, portable, lightweight and worked really well to protect them.”

    In working with law enforcement, BYU researchers learned much of what is currently used hasn’t evolved much from medieval times: shields that are mostly flat, awkward plates that cover only one person. Current barriers are so heavy and cumbersome they make it difficult for officers to move into position.

    The barrier Howell and his colleagues designed is made of 12 layers of bulletproof Kevlar and weighs only 55 pounds (many of the steel-based barriers in current use approach 100 pounds). The BYU-built barrier uses a Yoshimura origami crease pattern to expand around an officer, providing protection on the side in addition to protecting them in the front.

    In testing, the barrier successfully stopped bullets from 9 mm, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum pistols.

    “Those are significant handguns with power,” Howell said. “We suspected that something as large as a .44 Magnum would actually tip it over, but that didn’t happen. The barrier is very stable, even with large bullets hitting it.”

    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. Since Kevlar fabric is subject to fraying, abrasion and is sensitive to sunlight and water, the team also made a concentrated effort to reinforce it against the environment.

    “It goes from a very compact state that you can carry around in the trunk of a car to something you can take with you, open up and take cover behind to be safe from bullets,” said Terri Bateman, BYU adjunct professor of engineering and research team member. “Then you can easily fold it up and move it if you need to advance your position.”

    In addition to protecting police officers, researchers believe the barrier could be used to protect children in a school or a wounded person in an emergency situation. Although the ballistic barrier is now just in prototype form and not currently in use by any law enforcement agencies, Howell and Bateman have tested it with officers on site. The response has been positive so far.

    “There are a lot of risks to law personnel and we feel like this particular product can really make a difference and save a lot of lives,” Bateman said. “It makes us feel like we’re really making a difference in the world.” Show less
    Read more
  • Uploads Play all

    This item has been hidden
  • Popular uploads Play all

    • Lindsey Stirling, College Graduate 2015 - Duration: 76 seconds.

      • 1 year ago
      • 411,653 views
      After taking time out to focus on her music career and world tour, performer and composer Lindsey Stirling receives her college degree from Brigham Young University and performs at the graduation c...
      • CC
    • Matt Meese at the Bean Museum - Duration: 6 minutes.

      • 2 years ago
      • 371,178 views
      Studio C's Matt Meese visits the newly renovated Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, where he worked when he was a BYU student. The museum reopened June 7, 2014, after a two year remodel. See mlbea...
      • CC
    • Nature's fireworks: glowing fireflies lighting up Utah - Duration: 107 seconds.

      • 3 years ago
      • 206,101 views
      Thousands of pyrotechnic, flashing fireflies are making a rare appearance in Utah this summer, evidence that these bioluminescent insects may be establishing larger populations in the west, accordi...
      • CC
    • Engineers bounce water off superhydrophobic surfaces - Duration: 2 minutes, 27 seconds.

      • 2 years ago
      • 184,365 views
      BYU mechanical engineering professors Julie Crockett and Dan Maynes study superhydrophobic surfaces, or surfaces that are extremely difficult to get wet. In layman's terms, it's the most extreme fo...
      • CC
    • Origami in Space: BYU-designed solar arrays inspired by origami - Duration: 3 minutes, 21 seconds.

      • 3 years ago
      • 120,605 views
      Origami is a source of inspiration for BYU mechanical engineers who are working with the National Science Foundation, NASA/JPL and origami master Robert Lang to design complaint mechanisms for use ...
      • CC
    • BYU Mathletes Rap Music Video - Duration: 2 minutes, 37 seconds.

      • 4 years ago
      • 118,618 views
      What if star students were treated like star athletes? Learn more about the BYU Mathletes at: http://bit.ly/BYUmathletes

      The BYU math students will get a taste of fame as they create some March ...
      • CC
    • BYU electric streamliner sets world land speed record Sep 2011 - Duration: 2 minutes, 26 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 109,646 views
      An electric streamliner designed and built by BYU engineering students set a world land speed record for its weight class, averaging 155.8 mph over its two required qualifying runs, one of which wa...
      • CC
    • Nanoinjector Device: New Gene Therapy Advance from BYU Microbiologists and Engineers - Duration: 2 minutes, 27 seconds.

      • 2 years ago
      • 103,193 views
      BYU researchers create tiny nano-device in newest gene therapy advance: Nanoinjector is used to transfer genes and DNA to new cells
      The ability to transfer a gene or DNA sequence from one animal in...
      • CC
    • BYU supermileage vehicle: 1,300 MPG and counting - Duration: 2 minutes, 5 seconds.

      • 3 years ago
      • 96,404 views
      A group of seven BYU engineering students built a lightweight, aerodynamic supermileage vehicle to compete at the SAE Supermileage Competition. The 99-pound vehicle, just big enough to fit one pers...
      • CC
    • Ezekiel Ansah: A Ziggy Path to the NFL - Duration: 4 minutes, 7 seconds.

      • 3 years ago
      • 94,368 views
      Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah's journey to the NFL, beginning as a walk-on to the Brigham Young University football team from Accra, Ghana, who had never played football before suiting up for the Cougars i...
      • CC
    • Channeling Batman to help the Air Force - Duration: 99 seconds.

      • 4 years ago
      • 86,672 views
      The Dark Knight uses some pretty cool technology. A fan favorite is a gun that shoots a grappling hook, with a line attached. Once secured, the line pulls Batman straight up into the sky. BYU engin...
      • CC
    • Zorb Ball Soccer Fun at BYU - Duration: 61 seconds.

      • 3 years ago
      • 82,321 views
      Zorb "Bubble Cup" soccer game highlights BYU summer term August 2013. Event sponsored by the BYU student service association BYUSA.
    This item has been hidden
  • This item has been hidden
to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...