Method and Materials to Control a Ballistic Projectile's Lethality

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Currently, bullets are made from a variety of materials specific to the intended application. These bullets retain a significant portion of their energy after traveling hundreds or even thousands of meters. This can lead to undesirable consequences, such as unintended death or injury of bystanders and collateral damage, when the target is missed. Therefore, there is a need in law enforcement, military, and civilian sectors for a safer bullet that will significantly reduce collateral damage and injury.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed materials and fabrication for ammunition that becomes non-lethal after a designated distance. This is accomplished with a thermally controlled breakdown of the bullet material using the heat generated during firing in conjunction with air drag and an internal heating element to cause disintegration of the bullet over a predetermined time frame required for the projectile to traverse its accuracy range. The bullet will disintegrate as the heat conducts through the entire part, melts the low temperature binder material, and encounters drag forces. This technology combines the stopping power of standard bullets, the shrapnel-eliminating benefits of frangible bullets, and a limitation of range to decrease potential bystander injury or death.

-Maintains the stopping power of a traditional bullet
-Limitation of bullet range to decrease potential bystander injury or death
-Shrapnel-eliminating benefits of frangible bullets

Potential Applications:
-Law enforcement/military
-Hunting ammunition
Apr 26, 2016
Utility Patent
United States
May 1, 2018

Apr 27, 2015
United States
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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