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Electrostatic body armour

Pull on, zip up, turn switch and the soft fabric turns to steel
 
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When a high electrostatic field is applied across dielectric surfaces in contact they adher together and have enhanced frictional resistance to slippage. This is put to use in electrostatic paper holders for certain flatbed pen plotters.

A fabric is manufactured, woven from tape with a high resistance (carbon) core. All the warp tapes are connected together as one pole and the weft as the other pole, to a low power high voltage generator stepping up the voltage from a couple of AAA alkaline cells to a few thousand volts.

Garments are assembled from patches of such fabrics - since cutting and stitching will ruin the electrical continuity. The generator will be conveniently placed inside a pocket with the switch run out to a cuff for easy access.

You will put on a suit, hop on to that 135 mpg bike and, having arranged yourself comfortably, push the switch. The suit hardens into steel-like rigidity over the course of a few minutes.

Should you get forced off the road by some road hog in an ancient truck with zilch crumple zones, the armour protects you in a crash. Should the abrasions prove severe enough to rupture the electrical integrity of the garment, the charge leakes away and the suit regains flexibility within a few minutes.

When fully charged, the suit will store a respectable amount of charge, enough to electrocute you in an accident should the tapes contain metallic conductors. High resistance cores will ensure that any charge is dissipated slowly and that the discharge current is not fatal.

For additional tensile strength some of the tapes could be made of bullet proof vest material (kevlar).

In a really hard collision your relatives are spared the chore of mopping you up off the scenery. Suggested by [magnificat] &[SDG].

neelandan, Jan 15 2002

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       What if you run into a flatbed tow truck or a hydraulic lift with 'sharp' edges?
thumbwax, Jan 15 2002
  

       //Pull on, zip up, turn switch and it hardens on you//   

       Just like a man :-o
Helium, Jan 15 2002
  

       Isn't this from Dale Brown's novel, _Tin Man_?
Guncrazy, Jan 15 2002
  

       Say, that reminds me - there is a new date rape drug which is effective on Men: It is called "Beer". Apparently a woman will ply the man with "Beer" and he will become intoxicated. The woman then takes him to her place, or his - and has sex with him. If, upon awakening - he is startled by the sight of the woman next to him but does not wish to awaken her while in her home, he chews his arm off - if he is in his own home - he should have a Coyote Ugly Tool.
thumbwax, Jan 15 2002
  

       So you have a really hard suit. The suit hits a barrier. You hit the inside of the suit. Splat anyway.
magnificat, Jan 16 2002
  

       An unfortunate choice of words led to some off topic comments being posted. Changed now in the description, but a floppy suit tuning into a steel one does - ahem - remind some people of some - ahem - part of their anatomy.
neelandan, Jan 16 2002
  

       I wasn't thinking of my anatomy, I was thinking of someone elses.
Helium, Jan 16 2002
  

       "zip up . . . " Yeah. Zip down, falsies fall off. <flop>   

       My sympathies.
neelandan, Jan 16 2002
  

       This calls for the one and only... Yes, that's right - Newcastle Brown Ale.
thumbwax, Jan 16 2002
  

       While you're at it you'd better edit this bit...   

       //protects you in the spill you take yet deflates to limpness over a few minutes//
Helium, Jan 16 2002
  

       Gosh! I didn't think of it that way. OK, if you're that squeamish.
neelandan, Jan 16 2002
  

       Yes, UB. Guncrazy.
neelandan, Jan 17 2002
  
      
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