Shock-Dissipating Fractal Cubes Could Forge High-Tech Armor (Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory).

Posted: August 17, 2020

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., July 7, 2020—Tiny, 3-D printed cubes of plastic, with intricate fractal voids built into them, have proven to be effective at dissipating shockwaves, potentially leading to new types of lightweight armor and structural materials effective against explosions and impacts.

“The goal of the work is to manipulate the wave interactions resulting from a shockwave,” said Dana Dattelbaum, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and lead author on a paper to appear in the journal AIP Advances. “The guiding principles for how to do so have not been well defined, certainly less so compared to mechanical deformation of additively-manufactured materials. We’re defining those principles, due to advanced, mesoscale manufacturing and design.”

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