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Criminal Law
Military Equipment

Is platinum bullet proof?


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May 13, 2012 4:01AM

Nothing is bullet proof. If you shoot enough bullets at something it will eventually show wear from the bullets, no matter what type of bullets you use and what material the target is made of.

If you shoot a single lead bullet at a solid steel bar, it will probably do very little damage to the bar, because the bullet is made of lead which is softer than the steel. The bullet itself absorbed a good portion of the impact by 'spreading out' around the steel bar. If you shoot hundreds of lead bullets at the same point on the solid steel bar, the impact point on the steel bar will show a more significant amount of wear or be broken through. It all depends on how thick your steel bar is, how many lead bullets you shot, bullet mass, muzzle exit velocity, distance to target, windage, etc.

If you shoot a bazillion rubber bullets at a platinum bar, the platinum bar will eventually show wear from the rubber bullets as time passes. This is mainly due to the fact that platinum is a relatively soft metal. Even if it was a hard metal, it would still eventually show signs of wear, but just after a greater amount of time.

Certain materials are more bullet resistant than others. Honestly I can't image anyone willing to invest in wearing a platinum vest. Not only is platinum extremely valuable (more so than gold), it is extremely heavy! Using a cubic foot of materials as an example to cover the vital areas of the body, a cubic foot of platinum would weight over 1300 lbs. and would also be worth nearly 30 million dollars!

As far as bullet resistant materials, kevlar is the current famed choice for our law enforcement and troops. The way it works is it spreads the force on the bullet impact side over to a wider area on the back side which is in contact with the wearer. So lets say it takes an impact at 100000 PSI at 1/16th of an inch diameter and converts it to 1000 psi over a 6.25 inch diameter. This is a 100th of the PSI force over 100 times the surface area. Obviously this conversion of force will degrade the kevlar when the bullet hits it, but allow the wearer to be more able to survive being hit by the bullet. The areas that are hit by the bullets will have their force spreading quality significantly reduced, and areas previously hit by bullets will be more vulnerable. If you take a machine gun and constantly hit one area of a kevlar vest, it will eventually penetrate the vest. Basically any rigid material that is fashioned in a cell fashion (think of a honeycomb) and of course the thicker the better, is an ideal shield against projectiles.

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