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Old 08-08-2016, 06:35 AM   #1
Icelander
 
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Default Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

I'll be using David Pulver's 'Cutting-Edge Armor Design' article from Pyramid #85 in our TL10 retro-cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk/biopunk campaign.*

The article has Basic Nanoweave appearing at late TL9, becoming much less expensive at TL10. The text specifies that Basic Nanoweave is not as effective as TL10 Nanoweave.

1) What would the stats of TL10 Nanoweave set forth in the style of the article be?

In other words, what are its WM, CM DR/in Max DR, Notes and Construction?

2) What are the stats for a plausible advanced form of arachnoweave made at TL10?

THS has effective biotech that could allow for lab-designed spiders that make silk that is much better for defensive purposes than natural ones. Perhaps because of that, THS posits Arachnoweave as a very effective light clothing with DR, but not as popular as Nanoweave in heavier tactical suits. To model this, I'd like THS Arachnoweave that is significantly lighter than the TL9 version (enough to make it competative with Nanoweave for tactical swimwear), but doesn't allow any higher DR.

3) What TL10 rigid armour would be popular at TL10?

What material is metal-matrix laminate composites (that THS p. 160 says Clamshell Cuirass is made from) in 'Cutting-Edge Armor Design' terms? What stats does it have?

What other practical armour materials might be used in 2100?

4) How restrictive, uncomfortable and sweaty are TL9+ flexible armours designed to look like clothing?

Will fabrics that have useful DR always be less comfortable in tropical heat than DR 0 clothing? Are there important differences between the materials listed in the 'Cutting-Edge Armor Design' article?

5) How do various clothing options like memswear affect detailed armour construction?

Which, if any, ballistic fabrics can take options such as buzzwear, memswear and varicloth (THS p. 146; UT p. 39) without altering weight or DR? Or should such options require the use of layers of non-protective fabric, slightly increasing weight as well as adding to cost?

*It's set in Dar es Salaam in the year 2100, in the Transhuman Space setting, but I am posting this in the generic GURPS forum because I am interested in plausible extrapolation from real-world science. If that leads to suggestions that are not identical to published 3e stats in THS books, I'll figure out to reconcile canon with it. In any case, I doubt if varying the Cost, Weight or DR of arachnoweave, carbonweave or nanoweave suits by a few percents either way will have much of an impact on the THS setting.
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Last edited by Icelander; 08-08-2016 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

Only on of these questions I can hope to answer is number 1.

When home brewing TL 10-12 materials I made these stats for TL 10 nanoweave.

WM: 0,02
CM: $750 ($150 at TL11+)
DR/in: 150
Max DR: 66
Notes: F, Full DR vs cutting and piercing but 1/3rd vs other
Construction: F/O

Note that I am not entirely sure how realistic this is, I went for about enough to be a notable step up while still not making it that much better that no player would ever be tempted to go for cheaper basic nanoweave.

Since this has around 4 times he DR/inch of kevlar that would make it around 16 times as strong (since a bullet must be around 4x as fast to pierce it and thus have ~16 times the KE).

A quick wikipedia look gives me an ultimate tensile strength of 3,757 Gigapascals for kevlar, 11-63 Gigapascals for CNT and 130 Gigapascals for Graphene.

3,757 * 16 = 60,112 Gigapascals for the stuff of this hypothetical nanoweave, roughly speaking.

So these are some fairly optimistic stats overall.

Hope I helped, even if only a little.

BTW, the tensile strength list I used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_tensile_strength

EDIT: I goofed terribly, the strength measurements are based on pressure which is based on force and thus linear with velocity. 4x the Dr would be equal to 4x the tensile strength under that assumption.

Last edited by Ottriman; 08-08-2016 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I'll be using David Pulver's 'Cutting-Edge Armor Design' article from Pyramid #85 in our TL10 post-cyberpunk/cyberpunk/biopunk campaign.*

The article has Basic Nanoweave appearing at late TL9, becoming much less expensive at TL10. The text specifies that Basic Nanoweave is not as effective as TL10 Nanoweave.
.[/SIZE]
I tried to re-create the TL9 Combat Hardsuit and didn't come at all close. I didn't try for Nanoweave but I would be surprised if it was more than "very early TL9" in the article. TL10 needs to be a full +50% better than a mature TL9.

So I'd guesstimate +75% to +100% over the materials in the article.

You can try and use the article to duplicate TL9 armors yourself to calibrate things. It may be "Cutting edge" in that it's more "late" TL8 than even "early" TL9.
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I tried to re-create the TL9 Combat Hardsuit and didn't come at all close. I didn't try for Nanoweave but I would be surprised if it was more than "very early TL9" in the article. TL10 needs to be a full +50% better than a mature TL9.

So I'd guesstimate +75% to +100% over the materials in the article.

You can try and use the article to duplicate TL9 armors yourself to calibrate things. It may be "Cutting edge" in that it's more "late" TL8 than even "early" TL9.
That's quite a lot of improvement, depending on what we use as the benchmark for 'mature' TL. I mean, the article is already proposing a +100% effectiveness boost between mid-TL8 'Ballistic Polymer' and TL9 'Basic Nanoweave'; with the added benefit of the later TL9 'Basic Nanoweave' being only 50% of the Weight.

There is a very cutting-edge intermediate step between them, the TL8 'Improved Ballistic Polymer' that is +50% DR and 2/3 Weight compared to earlier TL8 'Ballistic Polymer' and 'Basic Nanoweave' is pretty much +50% DR and -25% Weight of that.

All in all, the TL9 stuff seems to be more than half again as good as the TL8 stuff. The progression is close to a doubling of DR by weight and it's pretty much exactly +50% DR by volume.

I don't know whether to apply that modifier to the 'Basic Nanoweave' is double-dibbing to some extent, however. Considering that it's the single best fabric there and would make all earlier fabrics redundant, perhaps it's already at the tail end of TL9 and should improve only incrementally?
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

on 1:

By the article STF Liquid Armor is UT reflex armor. And a quick calculation using STF Liquid Armor to cover the chest(5.25sf) at 12/4 does indeed give the 2lb weight of the reflex vest from UT.

Then given that Nanoweave Vest is the same 2lb and gives 18/6 and costs the same, I would use the same values STF Liquid Armor but at +50% protection/weight and thickness unit.

Thus: wm:0.021 ´cm:150 DR/in:135 Max DR:67 Notes:- Construction:F/O
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

on 2:
If you want the thing to work as you describe then you just have to tweak the values as you see fit.

The "realistic" Arachnoweave is just slightly better than STF Liquid Armor in protection/weight unit and thickness, but much more expensive and is flexible when thin.

One way to get better Arachnoweave could be to postulate that you have TL 11 Arachnoweave available due to the TL 11 biotech level of THS. But maybe at the same time limit it to say 1/8 inch with thicker layers becoming rigid and cumbersome(-1 DX/extra 1/8 inch layer) or something...

on 3:
I would look at the ship construction system in THS for inspiration, it does give the weight and DR or materials and see how well they map.

metal-matrix laminate composite is listed as Mass 5 and $0.06 they would map to cm: 0.1 and comparing to the other materials on that chart most things seem to work fairly well. Aluminum would have 0.4(same), steel would have 0.5(better than High-Strength Steel , bit worse than Ultra-Strength Steel), Titanium alloy 0.3(compared to 0.35 in the article)

And given than Diamondoid is available in the setting, I would expect the highest end rigid bodyarmor to have it.

on 4:
If you have climate control systems available then you eliminate the biggest problem: those materials do not breathe.

I wore a protective vest daily in the late 1980s and after a short time you do not really notice the extra weight(about 2.7kg in my case) and thickness(11mm). But on hot days it got sweaty due to the material not breathing.

Yes there is a difference between materials, but most likely anything thick enough to protect would not breathe as well as thinner materials.

on 5:
Realistically most of such would likely be on the coverings and fastenings. Basically today any armor will have a "cloth cover" as it is easier to sew the cloth that the actual armor panels. In future some armors might be made without such I guess, but I would not bet on it, given that the relative difficulty would not change. So I would just assume that you can add such without extra weight.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

It seems the cost of the labor and design involved in tailoring the armor is subsumed into the final price. Which is generally a safe generic assumption. But what if my players aren't always generically generic?

In the real world, a bit of Googling suggests that ballistic fabric at TL7-8 usually comes in fairly standardised thickness, cuts and appearance. You may be able to get a strapless little black dress made out of Improved Ballistic Polymer (fitting someone 6', 220 lbs., hirsute), but I imagine that it would be a specialty purchase, considerably more expensive than the same weight of fabric as an adjustable size-medium Level IIIA vest.

I'd like to discount mass-market models that merely require adjusting some fastenings and add a surcharge to the truly unusuals. But I don't know how much is design work (IP rights for blueprints), how much is labor (human, infomorph, shell or minifac) and how much is raw materials.

Should extra thin and light fabrics carry a surcharge, in that there is the same amount of design and sewing work for less fabric?

Or should anything thicker than 1/4" carry a Cost modifier, as it would be harder to work with armour when it gets that thick?
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
... You may be able to get a strapless little black dress made out of Improved Ballistic Polymer (fitting someone 6', 220 lbs., hirsute), but I imagine that it would be a specialty purchase, considerably more expensive than the same weight of fabric as an adjustable size-medium Level IIIA vest.
...
Hey, I'm 5'11" and 215 lbs.... I mean... interesting example there.
Seriously though, in low TLs everything's hand made for the individual, and ultra TLs 3D printing type production should make slight alterations to design trivial. The biggest differences in price between the two seem most likely for TL 5-8.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

Quote:
Originally Posted by weby View Post
on 1:

By the article STF Liquid Armor is UT reflex armor. And a quick calculation using STF Liquid Armor to cover the chest(5.25sf) at 12/4 does indeed give the 2lb weight of the reflex vest from UT.

Then given that Nanoweave Vest is the same 2lb and gives 18/6 and costs the same, I would use the same values STF Liquid Armor but at +50% protection/weight and thickness unit.

Thus: wm:0.021 ´cm:150 DR/in:135 Max DR:67 Notes:- Construction:F/O
This is +50% to DR/in, but it's also Weight *2/3.

That isn't outrageously out of line, compared to the improvements seen at mid-TL8 to late TL8 with Ballistic Polymer.

On the other hand, how close does this get to canonical UT and THS Nanoweave suits? Are they protective enough while still being flexible? Too light? Too heavy?

THS has TL9 Carbonweave, Medium with DR 24 and around 15 lbs. for a suit. It seems a match for 'Basic Nanoweave', but I haven't run the numbers.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cutting-Edge Armor Design at TL10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Hey, I'm 5'11" and 215 lbs.... I mean... interesting example there.
Seriously though, in low TLs everything's hand made for the individual, and ultra TLs 3D printing type production should make slight alterations to design trivial. The biggest differences in price between the two seem most likely for TL 5-8.
The cost of fabric and the labor involved in making it into clothing is why a decently fitting shirt cost $2,000+ at most TLs below TL5.

Totally different economic paradigm at TL6-8 and, again, many differences at TL9-10.

On the other hand, local minifabbing is nowhere near as efficient as a true mass market robofac. Think global, buy local still means an inefficiency hit and thus higher price.

That's not to mention blueprints and IP licensing. Maybe a insignificant fraction of price for military surplus, none at all for pirated or TSA designs, but quite likely several hundred dollars for anything currently selling in stores.
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