Vietnamese scientist invents bulletproof paint using rice husk

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Nguyen Thi Hoe (L) introduces her bulletproof paint at a conference on May 16

A senior Vietnamese chemist announced Thursday she had successfully made a new bulletproof paint with rice husk that allows for much thinner and lighter vests than the current ones.

Nguyen Thi Hoe, chairman of Kova Paint Corporation, also introduced three more paints made with rice husk that are flame resistant, bacteria resistant and rustproof.  

More than 250 scientists and business representatives from different countries, including the US, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore and Malaysia attended the event at Ho Chi Minh City's New World Hotel where Hoe announced her findings.

She said the major material used to make the four paints is nano silica taken from rice husk.

The bulletproof paint improves the proofing property of the vest that is lighter thanks to fewer fabric layers.

Hoe said she had tested the bulletproof vest made with her new paint in Cambodia.

A bullet shot from a 2-meter distance was obstructed by a vest with 6 fabric layers covered with the new paint, while common bulletproof vests have to have between 20-40 layers to be able to stop that bullet, she said.

The flame resistant paint can protect wood, steel and concrete surfaces for 2-6 hours under fire of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius, while the anti-bacteria paint can destroy up to 99 percent of bacteria on the painted surface, she said.

Objects painted with her rustproof paint can stay intact under the sea for up to 10 years, Hoe told visitors.  

She said she is seeking to register her inventions in the US and transferring the technology to bulletproof vest makers around the world.

In 1992, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoe was granted the Sofia Kovalevskaia Award, given to outstanding female scientists in the world, and the recognition prompted her to name her company company Kova Paint.

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