1. Ritrezer
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    Ritrezer Member

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    Best Substances for Armor and Weapons

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Ritrezer, Apr 26, 2014.

    The title speaks on it's own. What would be the best material to make armor out of? And by Armor, I mean one that's light, a lil modern(sci-fi like), thin, but strong. Sort of like a body suit you can wear. With the discovery of tons of new materials( ex-Graphene) what would be the best suited for this? I do not mind even if it cannot be synthesized and made, I can handle that, I just need the substance name. And it's much the same for weapons, the lightest, strongest metal etc. If I know the substance that's best suited- I'll just make a dream armor or something, because it's fiction. :p
    All help is appreciated.
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    That would pretty much be steel. Titanium is too brittle, aluminum is too soft.

    If you want a suit of armor, steel is your best bet.
     
  3. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    It depends on what you need the armor to stop. Is it for bullets, arrows, knives, or lasers?

    For weapons... Is titanium suitable? I imagine ceramic might be a little heavy. There were plans for a printable plastic gun.

    For armor, I would have the inner layer be synthetic spider silk with some sort of anti-slash covering.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Silks are the new (well, not really so new) ooo, look at that material for these things. Think carbon fiber or fiberglass composites but with synthetic silk fibers as the fiber. These would be super light-weight compared to anything metal.

    Also, unusual use of the word substance in your OP..... I would have said material. Neither here nor there. :) Just me being nerdy linguist boy.
     
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  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Yes but when fiberglass breaks it turns into razor sharp shards, not the greatest thing to be wearing.
     
  6. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    I have a problem with the concept of people hacking at each other in a modern setting. Swordsmanship is a skill that's highly dependent on physical things like strength and coordination. And it must be practiced to keep a fine edge. A projectile weapon, on the other hand, makes a ninety-pound woman the equal of a swordsman no matter their skill.
     
  7. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    I agree with JayG. It often seems silly that future wars are fought with swords and axes and pulls me out of the setting very quickly. Video games are notoriously bad about this.

    You can do things to culturally and technologically justify it, like we see in Star Wars and Dune, but it still makes you wonder...

    Anyway, how about spider silk? They make it out of goat milk now and it's supposed to be better than kevlar.
     
  8. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is possible that graphene can be bonded to some kind of plastic to form a super hard and tough material that would be both light and stronger than steel or ceramic. That is cutting edge science and not impossible.
     
  9. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    Carbon Nano Tubes strung in with light super thin ceramics. super light super strong and you can 3d print it.
     
  10. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Bullets run out. Then you have to run and hide or stand your ground with sticks and rocks. Melee weapons should not be the first resort, but a last.

    The second GN I'm writing has a large amount of melee, because the attackers want someone among them alive and don't want to risk him getting killed by a bullet even he couldn't evade. The defenders defend with ranged weapons, but being cutoff from supply, they eventually run out of bullets and have to resort to melee.

    There is justification for melee, but again, it's a last resort, an act of desperation in the struggle to live.
     
  11. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    When bullets run out you are better off getting more than running at the guy who's bullets haven't run out.
     
  12. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    You didn't bother to read what I wrote. Not all of it. Probably no more than the first sentence.

    I set up the scenario.
     
  13. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    Just look at how a modern soldier or SWAT team member looks like. Their "armor" is more like thick clothing but it stops bullets efficiently.

    If the story is set in the future the armor can be made of something not invented yet and you can name it as you want, for example "nanoceramic-fibre". If you want to stick with something already known today then graphene or carbyne are good candidates. Graphene is so strong that it would take an elephant balancing on a pencil to break through a sheet of graphene. Carbyne is two times stronger than graphene : http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24475337

    A bit less scientific materials are industrial diamond and hardmetals (for example wolfram-carbide)

    A sci-fi armor may as well have features practical in future fights like hermetically closed to allow military operations taking place in open space or in case of laser gun combat it should be very shiny to reflect the beam off.

    Today's soldiers have bayonets attached to their machine guns in case "bullets run out" or "laser gun battery discharges". Having something similar carried by a future soldier is totally acceptable.
     
  14. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Bayonets aren't used anymore, at least not in the US military. Almost all field combat occurs at range, so the most important part is ammo conservation. There was a time, when frontline soldiers went on major offensives and assaulted the lines of the enemy, so they needed melee weapons. In "All's Quiet on the Western Front," they used their entrenching tool (foxhole shovels), but offensives were intended to bring soldiers face-to-face.

    Today, that's not entirely gone, but rifles butts are made of very strong polymers and become a weapon of last resort.

    With that said, in my story, melee weapons are still available as a weapon of last resort. Knives, morning stars, short swords, whatever they soldier feels more comfortable with. But it has to be small enough to carry comfortably (no 10' polearms or lances). Also, in my story, the protagonist and his command are elites, so there is a need for stealth. Melee weapons make less noise then ranged weapons.
     
  15. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    @Robert_S : I think it's still in use in my country's army, however I don't know how long it will stay. Maybe it's just a soldier's knife which can be attached to the machine gun (if it's already there then why not) and it can be used for silent killing as you mentioned.

    This range gets longer and longer. I have the feeling that with some exaggeration current wars are already considered to be machine wars or at least the ones in which US is involved (think about drones, the new ones can perform some operations independently). Military robots are not so far in the future so the total robotic army pictured in Star Wars becomes more and more science and less fiction (it can take a century from now but with some luck a baby born today may see it happen).
     
  16. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    The problem I see is that as the range gets longer, weapons become less precise, less accurate, so civilians get caught up in it. That's not how to win hearts and minds.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  17. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    if its armour, then Kevlar does the job, its light and you can hide it under whatever you are wearing (i looked into this after watching Batman Begins/The Dark Knight)
     
  18. Vandor76
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    Vandor76 Contributing Member

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    The sad truth is that leaders want to win wars not hearts and minds. This is something which will never change. Unfortunately.
     
  19. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    Actually the US Marines still train with bayonets and in Afghanistan and Iraq there have been a few instances at least with the British Military of bayonet charges.
     

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