In the movie "Act of Valor", there is a scene showing Shabal inspecting suicide bomb vests in a factory. The vests are lined with ceramic ball bearings that function like a claymore mine when detonated. Christo claimed that they can evade metal detectors and are thin enough to be worn under any clothing without attracting attention.

Disclaimer: I am not trying to make a bomb here.

I am curious if this is achievable. If not, what are the mechanics behind this that make it unsuitable?

  • that is part of the justification for full body scanners, they detect almost any solid object under your clothes. – Ryathal Jun 5 '14 at 14:23
  • For reference, you can find the properties of various ball bearings at BocaBearing. IIRC, there are many types of ceramic BBs, and they tend to be both harder and lighter (and smoother) than metal BBs. I don't recall if they are more brittle. bocabearings.com/bearing-types/balls/features – adam.r Jun 5 '14 at 18:01
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    Just a note: "ball bearings" refer to the bearing assembly while "bearing balls" or "rolling elements" refer to the spheres that keep the inner and outer races concentric. – Doresoom Jun 7 '14 at 2:01
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    I think it's pretty obvious that ceramic bearings can be lethal projectiles. Why would you think otherwise? A small marble can kill a person if it's traveling over several hundred miles an hour. The more relevant question would be whether the bearings will survive the blast without shattering first. – DumpsterDoofus Jun 10 '14 at 14:24
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    Something to keep in mind: Ceramic is a lot lighter than steel--this will translate into much less penetration when they hit. Whether this is enough to keep it from being a viable option I do not know. – Loren Pechtel May 29 '17 at 23:13

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