A new origami-inspired bulletproof shield prototype that can withstand shots fired from 9mm, .357 Magnum, and .44 Magnum pistols was created by a team of engineers from Brigham Young University (BYU).
Most bulletproof shields or barriers weigh almost 100 pounds, making them difficult to use and transport. A lightweight version would a useful alternative. Weighing only 55 pounds (25 kilograms), this new shield is made up of 12 layers of Kevlar with an aluminum core, and it is so light it can be folded.
"It goes from a very compact state that you can carry around in the trunk of a car to something you can take with you, open up and take cover behind to be safe from bullets. Then you can easily fold it up and move it if you need to advance your position," says Terri Bateman, BYU adjunct professor of engineering, in a recent statement.
Of course, varying types of shields means varying capabilities. So, thicker, heavier shields might be able to withstand bullets from larger firearms. Still, the team from BYU believes that their origami-shield could be very handy when responding to crime scenes, especially since its folding capabilities means it can be expanded to protect two or three people simultaneously. Outside of law enforcement, it could also be used in schools and to protect the wounded during emergency situations.