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Electric Reactive Armour

  1. Jul 4, 2012 #1
    I am trying to understand the concept of Electric Reactive Armour.

    Am I correct in thinking that it basically has a detection system setup where it can monitor if an object passes between 2 plates, and if so unleashes a charge into a magnetic coil which is so strong that it induces an electric charge in the object (provided its made of something like copper), and that is great enough to melt or vaporise the object?

    Is there a formula I can use to work out how much energy is required to perform this feat? The articles claim it runs on the vehicles power supply but I am skeptical.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2012 #2


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    I interpret what's written there to mean that if the object (bullet or whatever) gets lodged in between both plates, so that it is electrically in contact with both simultaneously, then all of the charge that is stored on the plates will conduct *through* the projectile from one plate to another. This tremendous amount of current will vapourize the object, preventing it from penetrating deeper beyond the armor.

    This is just how I intepret what's written there. I'm not saying that I believe that it would work or that it would be a good idea. I, for one, would not want to wear a giant capacitor and a high voltage source on my body.

    EDIT: Oh, sounds like it's more for vehicles than for personal use. I still don't know if that sounds like a good idea...
  4. Jul 4, 2012 #3
    I originally thought it was that as well, but upon further reading (The article "Charge of the light brigade" by Ian Sample in New Scientist 171.2304) it states:

    Either could work, and I'm not sure why one would be favoured over the other, but I am interested the kind of power required.

    Something else that springs to my mind with your interpretation is if a bullet hit the same place twice, would it still create the circuit necessary for vaporisation?
  5. Jul 4, 2012 #4


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    As far as I am aware (and I am far from an expert), a High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) round is a shaped charge. It relies on shockwaves propagating at very precisely calculated angles and times to produce a narrow jet of high velocity metal that penetrates the armour. Disrupting the shockwave from such a thing vastly reduces its striking power. You don't try to stop the bullet per se (it isn't a bullet in the sense of a rifle bullet), just make the jet splash so that the impact energy is spread around enough for the physical armour to handle it.

    Wikipedia on HEAT rounds.
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