Sticky Foam Gets Serious


Sticky foam is the custard pie of the nonlethals world, often seen more as a practical joke than a weapon. In fact, it worked well enough at stopping people, but suffers from some critical disadvantages, as Noah pointed out a while back.sticky.jpgOne of the big problems is that having slimed a rioter, you cant arrest them or take them away. And if the sticky foam covers their mouth and nose, it can be anything but non-lethal.After some initial enthusiasm for the idea during the Marine deployment to Somalia in 1995, the idea faded and has been in limbo ever since. Now sticky foam is back, defending nuclear weapon stockpiles, according to this report from Government Security.The report explains that some facilities storing uranium and plutonium now boast steel doors with containers of hydrocarbon solution built into them. Breach the door, and the liquid comes foaming out under high pressure, expanding in bulk by a factor of forty and sealing the breach with an impassable obstacle.The idea is that sticky foam will delay any attackers for long enough for the defenders to call in reinforcements. Experiments with explosives found it was impossible to break through the doors without the foam barrier deploying. Another test showed how a defender could release the foam by shooting it with an M-16. According to Ronald Timm, president of RETA Security:

If you're on the high security side of a door and attackers are attempting to break through, you can use your weapon to shoot the doorThe sticky foam will deploy, delay the attackers, and give you time to call for help.
The doors are already installed at undisclosed sites. In the new role, the foam's drawbacks become advantages. Keeping attackers stuck in place for as long as possible is helpfuland there are unlikely to be protests if any of them tries to force a way through and comes to a sticky end.-- David Hambling
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