Army Times has a story about a new form of armor that might be use to provided repeated protection against small arms and fragments.
A 7.62mm rifle round will go through 3 inches of steel, so a catcher material is put behind the steel, he said. (This is probably incorrect. Probably should have been 0.3 inches–Chuck)
“When the bullet hits the ceramic, it stops and absorbs the energy,” Portanova said. “The problem is you can only shoot it once because then it’s cracked.”
Composite metal foam, however, has a bunch of hollow spheres inside. When struck with a bullet, the spheres are crushed, similar to bubble wrap.
Because of its resilience, you can hit it numerous times, Portanova said.
Researchers at the directorate have helped make the material lighter and also stop bigger threats.
“It would only be slightly more expensive and will weight half or one-third of what they’re hanging on the side of a Humvee.”