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Malaysian Researchers Have Invented A Bulletproof Vest Made Of Coconuts That Can Replace Kevlar

Malaysian Researchers Have Invented A Bulletproof Vest Made Of Coconuts That Can Replace Kevlar

The coconut skin material is strong enough to replace Kevlar fabric!

Kirat Kaur

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Many would agree that a coconut shell is pretty tough, but who would’ve guessed that it could be as strong as the bulletproof Kevlar fabric?

Well, leave that creative thinking to the researchers at Universiti Putra Malaysia who have just made a bulletproof multi-layered armour (MA) vest using the skin layer of coconut sheath.

How it’s made

Cocos nucifera sheath, material for the multi-layered armour (MA) vest.
(Credit: Universiti Putra Malaysia)

The coconut-made Techno-Economic Hard Body Armour comprises of 8 layers of bulletproof multi-layered armour, with four at the front and fourt at the back of the jacket.

UPM researchers claim that the coconut skin from the husk, or cocos nucifera sheath (CNS), can replace the Kevlar fabric on a bulletproof armour vest without compromising its ballistic performance.

FYI, Kevlar is essentially a plastic strong enough to stop bullets and knives and often described as being “five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis”.

In fact, they state that this coconutty Techno-Economic Hard Body Armour meets the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) level III standards.

Senior Research Fellow (Professor) at UPM’s Laboratory of Biocomposite Technology and lead researcher Dr Mohammad Jawaid said firing tests showed that the blunt trauma depth of the coconut-made bulletproof vest was at 26.51mm, far lower than the maximum 44mm limit allowed by NIJ.

Dr. Mohammad Jawaid showing the bulletproof jacket, ‘Techno Economic Hard Body Armour.
(Credit: Universiti Putra Malaysia)

The coconut-made bulletproof vest is also a lot better, like A LOT

That’s right, aside from potentially saving lives, this coconut-made bulletproof vest is 44% cheaper than Kevlar vests AND better for the environment!

Dr Mohammad explains that typical bulletproof multi-layered armour were generally made of ceramics, composited (such as Kevlar) and metals- which are generally non-biodegrabable and pollutants as bulletproof vests are discarded after being fired at.

Due to its non-biodegradable nature, it may pollute the environment and affect the eco-system, and because aramid fabrics are generally more expensive, the overall cost of manufacturing MA is increased.

Dr Mohammad Jawaid, Senior Research Fellow (Professor) at Laboratory of Biocomposite Technology, Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), UPM.
Bulletproof multi-layered armour (MA) vest, made from skin layer of coconut sheath or cocos nucifera sheath.
(Credit: Universiti Putra Malaysia)

Besides that, the Techno-Economic Hard Body Armour also has the advantage of being a lighter 5kg and thinner, making it more comfortable to wear without hindering movements too much.

With all of these pros in place, Dr Mohamed has expressed interest in exploring more on creating bulletproof fabrics using eco-friendly and easily available natural materials.

Wow, nature really can be metal!

READ MORE: There’s A Tree In Sabah That Bleeds Metal & Scientists Say It Might Help Us Save The Environment

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