| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free Specialty Function Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Bomb-Proof Baggage Hold Tested

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More items for Coating Materials

Comment | More

Multiple layers of novel coatings, composites and fabrics underpin a new-technology bag that an international team of scientists is developing to protect planes from bombs in passenger bags.

The so-called Fly-Bag is designed to be filled with passenger luggage and then secured in a plane’s hold. If a bomb in a passenger bag explodes inside the Fly-Bag, the bag would absorb the blast, reports the team, which is working with Blastech Ltd., a spinoff company owned by the UK’s University of Sheffield.

Elastomers and Thickening Fluids

Fundamental to the Fly-Bag’s design is the internal elastomeric coating and impregnation of fabric with Shear Thickening Fluids (STF).


 Images: University of Sheffield

Luggage fills the Fly-Bag’s interior before it is closed and secured in a baggage hold.

Elastomers are very low-stiffness, high-failure-strain materials often used as adhesives, sealants or in structures where high strains are expected. An elastomer was developed to provide a gas seal in the bag at very high strain rates and very high deformations, while resisting flame and heat, according to a release from the University of Sheffield.

STFs work by increasing in viscosity in response to impact. A simple STF can be made from mixing corn starch with water. In the correct quantities, this simple STF could be rolled into a ball that would bounce on hard surfaces but return to a fluid once left alone, the university reports.

A trial version of the Fly-Bag filled with luggage awaits blast testing during trials.

Under normal circumstances, the particles in STFs repel each other slightly. After sudden impact, however, the extra energy in the system proves stronger than the repulsive forces, causing the particles to clump together in structures called hydroclusters, which bump into each other, thickening the fluid.

This unusual behavior “has already generated significant commercial interest, and STFs are being considered to improve body armor designed to protect the wearer from weapons such as knives and bullets,” the university says.

Coated Fabric

With the Fly-Bag, the STF is used to coat the yarn of the fabric. As the fabric comes under strain, shearing forces between the yarns cause the STF to thicken, temporarily increasing the fabric’s stiffness and reducing the total deformation.

The Fly-Bag is secured inside the hold.

Some airlines have developed hardened luggage containers to withstand luggage bomb blasts, but these are heavy, costly and can only be used on wide-body aircraft, the university reports.

The Fly-Bag may reach the market in less than two years, although the cost is not yet known. Researchers are optimistic about its potential.

"The use of explosives on aircrafts has had a renaissance in recent years, with recent attempted attacks coming not just from passengers, but also as loaded freight,” said Dr. Jim Warren, from the University of Sheffield´s Department of Civil and Structural Engineering.

“Since weight and operational flexibility is key for aircraft operators, this low-weight, removable solution would seem to be a paradigm shift in the hardening of aircraft structures."


Tagged categories: Elastomeric coatings; Specialty functions; Viscosity

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films

Polyval Coatings
Polyflex® Polyurea Linings

Polyflex ™ new Polyurea Geotextile Membrane System has been specifically engineered to protect the environment in containment applications.

Heat-FLex® Hi-Temp 1200

Improved Corrosion
Enhanced Durability
Faster Shop Throughput

Carboline Company
Hyrdrocarbon Fire & Jet Fire Protection

Pyroclad X1 is the latest breakthrough in epoxy based intumescent fireproofing technology

Dow Polyurethane Systems
Choose the Right Coat

Dow’s high-performance, protective polyurethane spray elastomer system increases durability for steel and concrete applications.

Wasser High-Tech Coatings Inc.
Wasser Coatings Protect

Wasser Coatings offer a complete range of Moisture Cure Urethane (NEPCOAT approved) systems in addition to Polyurea membranes and linings(NSF).

International Paint LLC

International Paint Engineered Coatings

Learn about our solutions for:
  • Structural Steel
  • Piping & Equipment
  • Storage Tanks
  • Pressure Vessels
  • Secondary Containment

    Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
    Performance Amine 1,3-BAC

    A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

    HoldTight Solutions Inc.

    Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rush inhibitor prevents flash rust by removing surface contaminants.
    Contact us for your nearest distributor. (800) 319.8802

    Technology Publishing

    The Technology Publishing Network

    The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
    Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

    EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
    REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
    MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

    © Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
    2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail