Technology.am (May 15, 2009) — For those who worry more about tornadoes than terrorists, X Flex tape developed by US Army could soon help on the home front as well.
The X Flex tape, Kevlar-reinforced tape tested and developed in conjunction with the U.S. military, which is to keep walls from blowing apart and sending fragments flying during explosions.
When a hurricane looms, the new tape could soon help homeowners keep their walls from blowing apart. It is set to become available to civilians within the next year.
The X Flex is three layers sandwiched together. The outer two layers are standard plastic wrap. Inside that are clear strands of Kevlar, the synthetic fabric used by soldiers for body armor, woven together at a 45 degree angle. The Kevlar strands allow the tape to bend and flex more than six inches but not break, stopping terrorist munitions or Mother Nature’s fury.
The X Flex tape protects soldiers in several ways. First, it holds the wall together, stopping incoming debris or shrapnel from a bomb, grenade or other munition from penetrating inside the structure.
The X Flex tape also protects people and buildings by blocking the wave of air pressure generated by the explosion. The highly compressed air, often called a shock wave, can rupture ear drums, damage the lungs and have other traumatic consequences.
If shock wave doesn’t kill, sometimes the building will kill whoever is inside. X Flex holds the wall together so anyone inside has a chance to get out. It will retain the wall shape and go about business as usual.