Published on Jan 28, 2013
The Metal Vapor Torch might be the next best thing to a lightsaber: a belt tool that can generate a blade of flame that slices through a half-inch steel bar in less than a second.
A real-life lightsaber? Military device cuts through metal
Whether you're Star Wars fan or not, brace yourself. A little-known defense technology firm has developed what's been called the closest thing to a real-life light saber.
Resembling a sturdy metallic flashlight, the Metal Vapor Torch certainly looks the part. With the press of a button, the wielder can ignite a fiery blade powerful enough to slice through solid metal. Energetic Materials & Products is marketing the tool as ideal for pulverizing deadbolts, padlocks, chains and just about any deterrent you can think of. It may be particularly useful for military personnel, police and emergency responders since they're often called to situations in which agents may need to breach a secured site within a matter of seconds.
As Popular Mechanics explains, the torch generates a momentary jet of flame using a complex mechanism that involves copper oxide, magnesium and aluminum particles. The resulting concentrated stream of heat shoots out at a blast speed of over 1,600 miles a second with a temperature above 2,700 degrees Celsius. And as it exits out the rectangular-shaped nozzle, it comes out in the form of a sharp blade.
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The Metal Vapor Torch is expected to sell for 135 dollars a unit, with cartridges costing around 35 dollars. A version of the device for testing will be available for defense and police agencies later this year.
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