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Old 04-20-2017, 06:19 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Default NASA's new "Space Fabric" - armor stats?

Check out for the gory details.

Short version: It's sort of a 3d printed coat of plates, where the plates are leeetle tiny squares perhaps half a cm per side and they're linked together with closed wire loops.

The TL8 version is 3D printed metal, which is I suspect laser-sintered metal powder and not as durable as steel via more traditional manufacturing methods.

TL 9 would I presume be via cooler 3D printing methods for good quality armor metals, and TL 10 would be something involving nanites and something something smart materials.

Looking at it, presuming it's made from roughly the same quality materials as TL fine mail, my guestimate is that it would be more protective and possibly about as concealable. I'm not sure my intuition is good here.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:30 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: NASA's new "Space Fabric" - armor stats?

Well, the natural failure mode of this material is separation along the lines between squares, either causing a rip that an attack can pass through, or knocking a square all the way out of the fabric (possibly turning it into hazardous shrapnel). How likely that is depends on the strength of the links between the squares, which is not clear from the above link, but looking at the image I suspect they're significantly thinner than the plates, which means protective value will be lower than mail of the same weight.

Of course, this stuff isn't designed as armor. Something that is designed as armor is presumably possible with similar technology.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:40 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: NASA's new "Space Fabric" - armor stats?

Offhand, I'd say that it would perform comparably to Solid or Plate construction (going off of the Armor Design Pyramid articles) against Burning, Crushing, and Cutting attacks. Impaling attacks, however, are going to slip right between plates, being resisted only by the connecting wire, which is functionally very light mail. That won't always happen, of course, but will be a common occurrence - maybe roll 1d, on a 1 or 2 it slips between, on a 3 or 4 it glances first (use average of the DR of the plates and wire), and on a 5 or 6 it solidly hits the plates. Piercing I'm not certain about - I don't think the bullets will be able to slip between the cracks, but maybe I'm mistaken.

The trade-off for this is that you end up with armor that combines all the best aspects of flexible and rigid construction. Going with a hex-grid design, or just offsetting the squares of every other row, might also serve to get rid of the vulnerability against Impaling attacks.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:48 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: NASA's new "Space Fabric" - armor stats?

I don't see why it would be more protective than fine mail.

Its advantage seems to be that it is flatter/smoother. They talk about it's suitability for antennas for example.

More concealable or slipperier perhaps.
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