The for the first time (Divers Institute of

The history of diving suits began in the early 20th century with the invention of the Mark V suit, which allowed for divers to work at substantial depths for the first time (Divers Institute of Technology). From 1916 to 1984, the United States Navy used this suit for salvage operations and deep sea diving (Divers Institute of Technology). In the spring of 1951, Hugh Bradner began working on a wetsuit prototype for U.S. Navy Frogmen; however, Jack O’Neill was the first to commercialize the wetsuit. O’Neill first sold a wet suit vest, which incorporated neoprene. Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber that helps keep the diver warm. His neoprene suit revolutionized the ocean-going world, as people could stay warm in colder ocean temperatures. (Levin) Later on, wetsuits were lined with nylon to decrease the sticky texture of the neoprene, although the nylon also decreased the flexibility of the wetsuit. Wetsuits with double-backed neoprene started to be made in the 1970’s. New techniques for sewing wetsuit seams were created, such as seam taping, seam gluing, seam binding, and eventually blind stitching. Blind stitching uses a curved needle that does not completely go through the neoprene, solving the problem of punctured holes in the neoprene. Blind stitching also made the seams more flat, making the suit more comfortable. Body Glove created the non-zip wetsuit by 1989 and in the 90’s titanium started to be incorporated in wetsuits. The titanium was woven throughout the wetsuit, creating much better thermal insulation for the diver. Today, neoprene wetsuits allow divers to stay warm and protect commercial divers from sharp objects and dangerous chemicals.  (Divers Institute of Technology) The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office first recorded bulletproof vest designs in 1919 and it was first demonstrated for use by the Metropolitan Police Department in 1931 (Bellis). The first vests in the United States were made of silk, but a new generation of handguns and the high price of silk led to the U.S. to move away from using silk (BulletSafe). Next came the World War II “flak jacket” made from ballistic nylon, which provided protection from ammunition fragments (Bellis). Flak jackets were cumbersome and ineffective against most gunfire, but they were widely used to give soldiers a sense of protection. In the early 1970’s, a breakthrough was made with the invention of DuPont’s Kevlar ballistic fabric. Kevlar, a very strong synthetic fiber, was tested by the National Institute of Justice for several years and was found to stop most lead bullets. (BulletSafe) Scientists released a final report in 1976 concluding that the Kevlar vest was effective in providing bullet-resistance and light enough for full-time use (Bellis). There have been small improvements to Kevlar vests since then and they still are the most widely used bulletproof vests today (BulletSafe).Graphene is an allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is ultra-light, immensely tough, 200 times stronger than steel, incredibly flexible, and a superb conductor. In 2004, Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov were first to isolate graphene from graphite, a crystalline allotrope of carbon. The scientists used sticky tape to remove flakes from a lump of graphite and repeated this process until they created flakes that were just one atom thick. The two began testing graphene under the microscope and realized the vast potential of its properties. Scientists have since incorporated the use of graphene in the energy, membrane, biomedical, sensor, and electronic fields. For example, graphene is used today to create light and durable phone batteries. The uses of graphene will expand as scientists’ research leads to more knowledge on graphene’s potential. (Lambert)