BlastWrap is a blast-dampening material made out of volcanic glass and sealed in food-packaging plastic. The material already lines the insides of 192 trash cans in the Washington Metro system.
The cans can withstand the explosive force of more than 12 pounds of high explosives without coming apart.
BlastWrap is filled with grains of perlite, a volcanic mineral much like pumice. When perlite is heated, water trapped in the grains makes them expand, “popping” them like popcorn. When crushed, expanded perlite yields a bit but still stands up to more crushing.
The other component of BlastWrap is a flash-suppressing substance like boric acid. The materialcan be bought as roach killer at the hardware store for $5 a pound. It contains water but loses it when heated, a reaction that absorbs energy very quickly.
Made of cheap materials and produced on meat-packaging machines, a one-inch layer of BlastWrap costs just $16 per square foot.
Related: Pucchin Sukatto, a pack of 15 square sheets of bubble wrap, created for the sole purpose of bubble popping.