The scenario: Near future robotics technology has an energy storage breakthrough, and one of the many implications is battery operated powered suits of armor become a viable technology for soldiers for short duration mission.
These particular armoring devices are built AS suits of armor that are powered, not mecha or vehicles that soldiers ride around in. The reasoning for this is the need for these soldiers to reach where unarmored people can go. This means an imposed size limitation, which further means armor limitation.
With the on-following requirements and descriptions, At what point are explosive blasts a reasonable threat to the occupant? What kind of blasts are survivable with this armor? With/without shrapnel effects?
- Assuming real-world materials for all construction. The only hand-waving is the power source (and perhaps a little with the mechanical construction).
- Assume the thickness and design of the armor is such to offer maximum protection WITHOUT impeding the user’s ability to function, ex use weapons, open doors, flick switches, turn around in a hallway, go up or down stairs.
- Assume a general armor thickness of around ½ inch of rolled homogenous steel equivalent.
- Internal padding should be sufficiently thick to attempt to cushion operators against threats, without causing the armor to become so bulky it cannot be used effectively in tight spaces. The padding should be available within current technology and manufacturing capability.
- The weight of the suit with man inside and in full kit can be assumed to be around 1000 lbs.(A few back of the scratchpad numbers. A cubic foot of steel weighs about 590 lbs. An average human male has a surface area of 1.9 m2 / 20.45 ft2. Spreading that material evenly over that surface gives something like a little more then 1/2 inch of protective material all over. less ~200 lbs for the man, leaves ~100 lbs for a power source and ~100 lbs for equipment.)
- To “survive a blast” Limbs need not remain included; just a reasonable chance of survival if a medic is on hand.
Note, I’m looking for blast/explosion type survivalbility; its easy enough to look up how any given round would do against a ½ inch of steel, Im more interested in the ability of this kind of armor to deal with explosives.
To help direct answers towards what I'm looking for: Can a user survive a grenade thrown at its feet? How far away from a 1-ton open air explosion would they need to be to survive it? How much would armor like with a padded interior actually protect against explosion over-pressure and shock effects? Are the joints weak-points? If so, How much so?