China has developed a strong, light fiber nick named "golden silk" that is resistant to heat and corrosion for use in fire-proof and bullet-proof military equipment.
"The material can be used to make body armor and other protective components for precision instruments or military hardware," military analysts were quoted as saying by Global Times on Sunday.
After 16 years of development, state-owned oil giant Sinopec announced it had developed a type of para-aramid fiber, Beijing-based newspaper Science and Technology Daily reported on Saturday. Kevlar is a similar type of material.
The material is a strategic asset to the country and the military, which has wide applications in both civilian and military fields, like the making of cables, optical fibers, frame materials and composite materials, the report said.
A standard application for "golden silk" is to make body armor, which weighs only 1.5 kilograms and is many times more efficient than a steel plate in taking and dispersing kinetic energy from bullets and shrapnel.
With the fiber, body armor can even block rapid fire from a light machine gun, according to the report.
"The material can also be used in the manufacturing of vehicles, ships, aircraft and rocket, as it provides extra structural strength and resistance to harsh environments," a military expert told Global Times.
Sinopec said in a statement that China used to trail foreign countries in making high-performance fibers, and related technologies were controlled by those countries as they kept inflating the price and banned supply in military use.
With the domestically developed technology, the fiber now becomes affordable and is available to the Chinese military and arms industry, the expert said.