Bomb Proof Flexible Textile Based Luggage Hold for Aircraft

The above is a very interesting video, however the commentary is lame.

It is about a flexible luggage hold being tested by British and Italian researchers that can contain explosions from bombs large enough to take down an airliner. The hold is made up of a “textile” that is composed of layers of fabric coated with a non-Newtonian fluid that is shear thickening, just like the gel pad insoles for shoes. Incidentally, gels are also being used for bullet proof vests. (See this link from Discover magazine.)

Here is a link to a news article on the bomb proof luggage hold.

It could replace the heavier, more expensive hardened luggage containers that are currently used as a precaution against the threat of in-flight explosions. The Fly-Bag has multiple layers of novel fabrics, composites and coatings, and is designed to be filled with passenger luggage and then placed in the hold of an aircraft.

Fundamental to the design of the bag is the internal elastomeric coating and impregnation of fabric with shear thickening fluids (STFs)…STFs work by increasing their viscosity in response to impact. Under normal circumstances, the particles in STFs repel each other slightly.

The group has built a full-scale prototype that Warren says has been tested with an explosive device of a similar potential as the bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988.


About propulsiontech

Propulsion technologist, aerospace engineer
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