| Updated at: 2120 PST, Wednesday, September 15, 2010|
LONDON: A device that shoots a blade of water capable of cutting through steel will help soldiers disable improvised explosive device or IEDs.
Sandia National Labs developed the Stingray, 3,000 of which are being shipped to Afghanistan to the US soldiers.
Stingrays are filled with water and an explosive material that on detonation creates a shockwave that rips through water - creating a thin powerful blade of water capable of penetrating steel, reports the Daily Mail.
"The fluid blade disablement tool will be extremely useful to defeat IEDs because it penetrates them extremely effectively. It's like having a much stronger and much sharper knife," said Greg Scharrer, manager of the Energetic Systems Research Department at Sandia.
The Stingray can be either placed right next to the IED or at some distance away.
It uses minimal explosive material, its plastic legs can be attached in various configurations so that it can be placed in different positions to disable bombs and it's built so that robots can easily place it near a target.
Unlike traditional explosives, which release energy equally in all directions when they go off, researchers use shaped-charge technology to deliberately manipulate the explosives.
This means that they can create a certain shape when they explode, allowing the operator to focus the energy precisely where it is needed to create the 'blade' of water.