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Kevlar: A polymer plastic science can't explain? (1 Viewer)

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Dec 4, 1999
I was tuning into the 10PM news, and saw the last of Fox's "The Pulse" and heard the Plastic Person Shepard Smith say that because a British soldier got shot in the helmet 4 times and it didn't die

As far as I know, science CAN explain it, and can do so very easily. Isn't Kevlar similar to teflon in how it's slippery, so the bullets glance rather than penetrate?


Supporting Actor
May 30, 2002
There are two type of body armor.

1. Hard (like helmets) armor. What is a mystery to Shepard, as you pointed out, is not a mystery to others: it works by deflection -- although I don't believe its "slipperiness" is a factor, at least surely no more so than steel. Besides, it's definitely not slippery to the touch. Because the Kevlar is still a weave in helmets (although bonded to other stuff) I don't know whether this also affords protection from blunt trauma.

2. Soft body armor: Soft body armor made with KEVLAR® works by "catching" a bullet in a multilayer web of woven fabrics. The engaged fibers absorb the energy of the impact and disperse it to other fibers in the fabric weave. This transfer of energy occurs at "crossover points," where the fibers are interwoven. Additional energy is absorbed by the other layers in the body armor, reducing the amount of transferred energy that causes "blunt trauma." Dupont Kevlar FAQ


Grant B

Senior HTF Member
Mar 29, 2000
a British soldier got shot in the helmet 4 times and it didn't die
'It ' is a he or she if still alive.

I read an article a while ago that mentioned all these everyday things that science can not explain... things like water droplets. Cant think of the others but you would be suprised.
I think when they say that they cannot explain it either at an atomic level or in scientific notation

Lee L

Supporting Actor
Oct 26, 2000
It was a He. I saw a picture and he was quite lucky as the hits were all about an inch above the edge of the helmet just above his left eye.

What is so mysterious about water droplets?


Second Unit
Oct 29, 2002
I assume it depends on what kind of explanation you are asking for. Maybe it's the particular shape a water droplet of a particular size has, or how it deforms in real-time as it falls through air. Simply saying that 'science can't explain a water droplet' isn't really saying much at all.

Also, just because science can't explain something says nothing about whether the phenomenon in question is one based solely on physical properties. For instance, predicting the exact trajectory of a pinball based on initial conditions is not possible after you pass 3-4 bounces. It's simply too demanding a task for any present-day calculating device. But few rational people would suggest that the motions of a pinball aren't 100% goverened by physical properties.

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