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Melanii
07-11-2014, 07:45 PM
Hello!

I've been thinking of writing a story that has a mix of scientific/fantasy elements in our current time.

I'd like to have the characters wear "combat armor" when it's necessary. I was wondering what common terms are used for what modern/sci-fi armor is made of. I'd also like to throw in interesting terms for armor/clothing that could be magically enhanced.

I hope this makes sense. I want the armor to sound "smart" and "fantastically cool" at the same time.

Thanks. ^^

Osulagh
07-11-2014, 08:02 PM
You mean, like parts of the armor? Like gauntlet, vambrace, gorget?
Or naming the magical armor... because that's up to you.

Melanii
07-11-2014, 08:38 PM
Like the material the armor is made of! I can't think of any names that would fit. o.o

ULTRAGOTHA
07-11-2014, 08:43 PM
What time period and what culture are you basing your fantasy on? Armor was made from various things at different times and in different places.

Iron, iron rings riveted together, leather, lacquered wood, bronze, etc.

ladyillana
07-11-2014, 08:49 PM
Like the material the armor is made of! I can't think of any names that would fit. o.o
There is the flak jacket which could be made of Kevlar. This is to protect from shrapnel and low speed fragments. It is supplemented by a trauma plate over the chest. Modern combat armor is usually made from high performance polyethylene. I found this site which I hope you find useful.
http://defense-update.com/features/du-2-07/infantry_armor.htm

Melanii
07-11-2014, 09:13 PM
What time period and what culture are you basing your fantasy on? Armor was made from various things at different times and in different places.

Iron, iron rings riveted together, leather, lacquered wood, bronze, etc.


in our current time

^ Tis the answer you seek... :3


There is the flak jacket which could be made of Kevlar. This is to protect from shrapnel and low speed fragments. It is supplemented by a trauma plate over the chest. Modern combat armor is usually made from high performance polyethylene. I found this site which I hope you find useful.
http://defense-update.com/features/d...ntry_armor.htm

This is a start, though I think it want it to sound a bit more sci-fi like. I wish I had an example, though. o.o

robjvargas
07-11-2014, 09:20 PM
Can't it combine elements of fantasy and scifi? Battle plate for a full-body suit. Strike armor for a vest, mask, and low-grade arm and leg protection. Maybe a scout jacket for just upper body and max mobility.

I see "carapace" or "beetle" for a heavy, motorized thing like the Mobile Infantry armor from Heinlein's Starship Troopers.

benbradley
07-11-2014, 09:21 PM
Okay, so maybe kevlar reinforced with a titanium alloy. Make up an abbreviation or acronym out of that, maybe titalar. Not sure how you would pronounce that...

robjvargas
07-11-2014, 09:25 PM
I've seen "plasteel" and "plastisteel" used in some space operas.

Then again, I can see a drill sergeant saying, "This is the KL-9000 IAS, the Infantry Armor Shell. This is your best friend..."

ULTRAGOTHA
07-11-2014, 09:41 PM
Sorry, I missed that!

Small ceramic (industrial ceramic, not pottery) plates overlapped and sewn to a kevlar backing. Kind of like the Japanese scale armour.

You could call it Exoscale.

ladyillana
07-11-2014, 10:05 PM
Sorry, I missed that!

Small ceramic (industrial ceramic, not pottery) plates overlapped and sewn to a kevlar backing. Kind of like the Japanese scale armour.

You could call it Exoscale.
Exoscale sounds great!

Liosse de Velishaf
07-11-2014, 10:39 PM
Ceramics are pretty common. We have fancy as hell modern ceramics and "composite" materials that can function as armor. Titanium alloys are also popular, because they are light-weight compared to bronze or iron as was used for armor in the past. Another scientific sounding term to use might be "polymer". Various composites involving polymers (which is a fairly general term, but sounds scientific while being short and sweet) have been considered as materials for combat armor.


So:

1. Ceramics
2. Composites
3. Titanium alloy
4. Polymers
5. Kevlar (A more specific name of a material used in modern armor, specifically flak jackets and bullet-proof vests)

Melanii
07-11-2014, 10:59 PM
Exoscale sounds great!

It does! XD

I've noticed in Sci-Fi games they name armor and even weapons like so:

Terminus Assault Armor
Survivor Armor VI
Neo Armor Alpha
Delta Edge III

It seems to fit. o.o

snafu1056
07-12-2014, 12:43 AM
Vibro-mesh combat skin!

Eddy Rod-Kubry
07-12-2014, 02:12 AM
I've read the US Armed Forces are researching into the use of magnetorheological fluids in their body armor. Basically, it's an oil in which metal particles are suspended. These particles would align and strengthen the suit when a current is applied to them. I suggest you research into that and try to build off from it.

robjvargas
07-12-2014, 02:23 AM
I've read the US Armed Forces are researching into the use of magnetorheological fluids in their body armor. Basically, it's an oil in which metal particles are suspended. These particles would align and strengthen the suit when a current is applied to them. I suggest you research into that and try to build off from it.

Batman wings!

Eddy Rod-Kubry
07-12-2014, 02:39 AM
Batman wings!

Really? Lol, I forgot that.

RSwordsman
07-12-2014, 03:42 AM
Ooh, an armor topic! I love this :D

Used on Abrams tanks is depleted Uranium, which is incredibly dense and really tough armor. Really heavy for use on a person, but combined with an exoskeleton should be no problem.

I also like the idea of metamaterials, which are basically solids with structures not found in nature. They're not known for being strong (more for weird properties in other areas) but IMHO it's a promising field and plausible as high-tech armor.

Another good word to put into armor description is "ablative." It describes an armor that fragments, or is pulverized in the process of dissipating the energy of an incoming projectile. Military SAPI plates do this to stop high-velocity rifle rounds.

And lastly, the one which I use once in my own story, "amorphous" metals. The word describes a solid which has no crystalline structure or grain. Lots of normal things are amorphous solids, but when applied to something that usually DOES have a crystal structure to it, it can possibly make it much stronger.

I apologize if any or all of what I say is a load of crap :o but it is based enough in reality to suit my own scientific skepticism.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-12-2014, 04:14 AM
I've read the US Armed Forces are researching into the use of magnetorheological fluids in their body armor. Basically, it's an oil in which metal particles are suspended. These particles would align and strengthen the suit when a current is applied to them. I suggest you research into that and try to build off from it.


Ooh, an armor topic! I love this :D

Used on Abrams tanks is depleted Uranium, which is incredibly dense and really tough armor. Really heavy for use on a person, but combined with an exoskeleton should be no problem.

I also like the idea of metamaterials, which are basically solids with structures not found in nature. They're not known for being strong (more for weird properties in other areas) but IMHO it's a promising field and plausible as high-tech armor.

Another good word to put into armor description is "ablative." It describes an armor that fragments, or is pulverized in the process of dissipating the energy of an incoming projectile. Military SAPI plates do this to stop high-velocity rifle rounds.

And lastly, the one which I use once in my own story, "amorphous" metals. The word describes a solid which has no crystalline structure or grain. Lots of normal things are amorphous solids, but when applied to something that usually DOES have a crystal structure to it, it can possibly make it much stronger.

I apologize if any or all of what I say is a load of crap :o but it is based enough in reality to suit my own scientific skepticism.


This kind of stuff was being touted as the armor of the future as early as ten years ago. It's got a lot of promise. Various fluid layers for dissipating force are also popular. Ways of converting kinetic energy into heat or electricity are also popular theories for ways to dissipate force with relatively small volumes and densities.

Sollluna
07-12-2014, 09:19 PM
There is also a lot of interesting researching focusing on spider silk as body armor.

Spider silk (depending on the specific spider) is much stronger than Kevlar. For it's weight, it is one of the strongest known flexible substances. This will give the potential for super-lightweight, elastic, and very strong, form fitting body armor that protects against bullets, shrapnels, etc.

There is crazy (it seems like it can't possibly be real) research that has gone on for the past ~10 years into mass production of spider silk. Various companies, militaries, universities and other organisations are all working towards this. Some methods for mass production include: inserting spider genes into tomatoes so the seeds produce silk; spider genes in goats to harvest silk from goat milk; spider genes mixed with E. coli to produce spider silk proteins; or spider genes in silkworms to make their silk stronger.

Some of the brand names of companies trying to make this spider silk armor include: BioSteel, Monster Silk, AMSilk, and Spiber.

When I think of futuristic, cool, and almost unbelievable body armor, this is what always immediately comes to mind. Who wouldn't want Biospider Combat Armor?

Eddy Rod-Kubry
07-12-2014, 10:46 PM
There is also a lot of interesting researching focusing on spider silk as body armor.

Spider silk (depending on the specific spider) is much stronger than Kevlar. For it's weight, it is one of the strongest known flexible substances. This will give the potential for super-lightweight, elastic, and very strong, form fitting body armor that protects against bullets, shrapnels, etc.



Isn't it just tensile strength though? I may be wrong, and I'm no physics expert.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-12-2014, 11:41 PM
Actually, it's pretty strong as far as stopping edged weapons. Mongols used to wear silk under their armor, because while the arrow would enter their body, it wouldn't actually pierce the silk, and so could be removed more easily. And silk from silk works is weaker than spider silk.

Kevlar jackets are generally made up of 33 layers of kevlar fiber. Scientists have suggested that 16 layers of spider silk could be at least as effective. Depending on the spider, the estimate is 3 to 10 times more effective than an equivalent amount of kevlar by weight.


I'm taking this from pop sci articles. I don't even know where I would find the scientific studies themselves.

Eddy Rod-Kubry
07-12-2014, 11:45 PM
Actually, it's pretty strong as far as stopping edged weapons. Mongols used to wear silk under their armor, because while the arrow would enter their body, it wouldn't actually pierce the silk, and so could be removed more easily. And silk from silk works is weaker than spider silk.

Kevlar jackets are generally made up of 33 layers of kevlar fiber. Scientists have suggested that 16 layers of spider silk could be at least as effective. Depending on the spider, the estimate is 3 to 10 times more effective than an equivalent amount of kevlar by weight.


I'm taking this from pop sci articles. I don't even know where I would find the scientific studies themselves.

Oh I see. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Warfare is one of my interests so I'll be looking up into the use of silk for armor.

Sollluna
07-13-2014, 12:32 AM
I'm taking this from pop sci articles. I don't even know where I would find the scientific studies themselves.

There are lots of legitimate scientific articles that detail the strength of spider silk as armor (and how to get spider silk out of goats, tomatoes, etc.) (source (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10704-005-3993-9)) (source (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/295/5554/472.short)) (source (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/295/5554/472.short)) (source (http://www.microbialcellfactories.com/content/3/1/14))

One of the coolest things about it is the choice of spiders. Orb weaver spiders are frequently used (since they're big), but the venomous black widow spiders is one of the preferred spiders since their silk is one of the strongest and toughest.
Literally, black widow spider armor.

Eddy Rod-Kubry
07-13-2014, 12:38 AM
black widow spider armor.

Pretty badass if you ask me.

frimble3
07-13-2014, 12:39 AM
Literally, black widow spider armor.
It'd be a heck of a logo!:evil

ClareGreen
07-13-2014, 12:55 AM
Isn't it just tensile strength though? I may be wrong, and I'm no physics expert.

It may be just tensile strength, but if you apply the force to the side of an anchored thread rather than at its ends (as you will if the thread is laid or woven into armour), sooner or later the thread will be in tension.

Compressive strength is nice, but tensile is easier to use in thin (and flexible) layers.

PeteMC
07-13-2014, 01:40 AM
So in the grand SF tradition of "string all the cool words together in an order than sounds good", you end up with titanium polymer composite plates over a flexible layer of ablative ceramics, kevlar, and spun hypersilk.

benbradley
07-13-2014, 01:53 AM
So in the grand SF tradition of "string all the cool words together in an order than sounds good", you end up with titanium polymer composite plates over a flexible layer of ablative ceramics, kevlar, and spun hypersilk.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXJKdh1KZ0w

Liosse de Velishaf
07-13-2014, 02:10 AM
So in the grand SF tradition of "string all the cool words together in an order than sounds good", you end up with titanium polymer composite plates over a flexible layer of ablative ceramics, kevlar, and spun hypersilk.


I'd wear it!



Black widows are actually not good sources, because they tend to eat each other. Although with the fancy genetic engineering of goats or bacteria or whatever, that doesn't matter as much. The cutting edge right now is bark spider silk, found in Madagascar.

Eddy Rod-Kubry
07-13-2014, 02:29 AM
I'd wear it!



Black widows are actually not good sources, because they tend to eat each other. Although with the fancy genetic engineering of goats or bacteria or whatever, that doesn't matter as much. The cutting edge right now is bark spider silk, found in Madagascar.

Another idea is to develop biorobotic (or whatever) silk dispensers that are constantly secreting silk.

thwaitesyellow
07-13-2014, 09:54 AM
I'll weigh in on some of the materials aspects - I've studied this some in graduate school.

Kevlar is a specific type of polymer used in tactical vests, although there are others like Nomex (also developed by DuPont, the same company that developed Kevlar) that aren't as widely known because of the predominance of Kevlar. Kevlar has high tensile strength and is very tough, making it good for body armor, but it can't be stretched very much. Kevlar (and possibly spider silk as well, which I've heard of but haven't researched much myself), when the fiber is spun it is oriented so that they are fantastically strong in one direction. This site seems to explain it pretty well - there's also a great quote about Cinderella's glass slipper being made out of a glass composite material, which some of us SFF types could take and run with:

http://www.pslc.ws/macrog/composit.htm

(It's also somewhat relevant to note that the inventor of Kevlar, Stephanie Kwolek, passed away in June.)

Also, as far as the term "amorphous" goes, it isn't a term that materials engineers (although they will probably only make a small part of everyone's target audience) would necessarily conflate automatically with strength...at least I wouldn't jump straight to that conclusion. Amorphous materials have no crystal structure and are isotropic aka they have no uniform orientation/direction on the micro-scale. Glass is the quintessential example of an amorphous material. So some amorphous isotropic materials like metals are extremely strong, but there are also anisotropic (oriented) materials like Kevlar fibers that are extremely strong as well, but there are plenty of materials that fall into both of these categories that aren't nearly as strong.

I did a quick swing through some of the academic journals I have access to in order to see what people are researching into body armor if any of you are still looking for story fodder. Up and coming: bionanowire structured armor–conch shell and other armors based on seashells; caddisfly silk (they're aquatic versions of silk moths), nanoceramics, carbon nanotubes.

Sorry if this is overkill! Hope some of this is able to fuel some story ideas somewhere.