In my setting that take place around a century from now, there is a military organization which consist of multiple fraction from various lawless independent industrial colonies. Their technology usually designed to create the overabundance of resource alternatives from every substance that ever existed, including organic materials, bacteria and recycled organ for drone (they aren’t completely evil but overly utalitarianistic).

Their armored vehicles usually produced in large quantities and one of their method is to mold most of their parts right at the get go using hibernating plants mix with steel grains then keep them nutriated until the roots are grown and bonded together with the steel grain, kept in a certain shape with electricity frame before attach the the explosive reactive armor blocks to the hull.

The weapon don't deviate too much from nowadays weaponry.

How strong would this armor possibly be compare to modern armor?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site. This question is unclear as currently stated, for example: how are steel grains mixed with hibernating (?) plants? Is the plant / steel mix the explosive reactive armour (ERA)? If so, what makes it explosive? What sort of weapons is the armour supposed to resist? $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2019 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ I just edit my question a little bit. The plant armor is as weird as it sound. Plant in the armor is always kept alive as it's purpose is to be the bonder while steel grain increasing it's toughness. It's designed to be transported in a containment as base material that can be used to produce armored vehicle in anywhere possible. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2019 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ Many functions of a machine are not conducive to live tissues ... Rotary parts such as crank shaft, heard, access, etc require a disconnect between the main chassis and the part, which limbing stems don't handle well. Also, combustion chambers, pistons, etc. Our bones derive their toughness by wrapping brittle calcium phosphate in a matrix of living tissues, so this has possibility $\endgroup$
    – pojo-guy
    Jan 26, 2019 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


Compared to modern laminate armor — very weak

Plant fiber hasn't been used since, possibly, the Japanese samurai as an armor. It is very weak compared to metal and laminate counterparts.

Mixing metal shavings into the mix doesn't solve your problem. In fact, it probably makes it worse. Metal is strong because the bond between metal molecules is strong. Thus, an uninterrupted and uncontaminated sheet of steel is incredibly strong. By cutting it up you're robbing the metal of everything that makes it strong. (This is why modern armor is laminated — you can't mix things together that don't want bond together and expect it to work.)

Consequently, when anything impacts your plant-metal hybrid, the metal shavings would have the tendency to acts as additional shrapnel to help tear the plant fibers apart.

However, DO NOT LET THIS STOP YOU! I love the idea and think it sounds great!

If all science fiction were 100% science based then most of it wouldn't exist and the rest of it would be boring. Most science fiction is dreaming about what you could do, about what might be, if we just understood the issue better or if history had taken a different course. I'd run with this idea because it provides a story justification for why this particular group is very tough to deal with and provides unique and interesting weaknesses, like it takes longer to build weapons due to waiting for the organic component to grow.

Indeed, stories always need a balance of this type: harder to destroy on the battlefield vs. longer to manufacture replacements. That's what gives rise to unique tactics and the political and economical pressures that lead to the victory-crisis-redemption roller coaster that makes stories successful.

And if I want to be honest with myself...

My front yard is graced with a tree that I've been told is called "Tree of Heaven." It's anything but a heavenly tree! It grows shoots everywhere and I have yet to cut a branch off it that doesn't dull my chainsaw blade in seconds.

So the idea of using plant fiber as part of the armor-building process works for me.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .