Lightweight, Highly Flexible Ceramic Copolymer Composite Liners for Providing Multi-Threat Laceration, Abrasion and Puncture Protection to Special Ope
Agency / Branch:
DOD / SOCOM
The objective of this Phase I SBIR program is to design, construct and qualify next generation ceramic copolymer drysuit liners for providing multi-threat protection to special operations forces (SOF) divers from laceration, abrasion and puncture threats. The proposed lightweight, highly flexible liner technology will be designed for integration within currently employed drysuit ensembles and thus have immediate utility for imparting diver protection from an array of threat scenarios without compromising free-swimming maneuverability or continuous water to land operations. In addition, the proposed diver protection system will provide ballistic protection through its multiple threat defeating mechanisms. NanoSonic's drysuit liners will integrate innovative ceramic polymer armor materials within shear thickening Kevlarr and Dyneemar fibers to provide lightweight (< 1 lb / sq. ft.) drysuit liners with exceptional abrasion resistance and shear thickening ceramic nanoparticles that protect from both puncture and laceration threats. This effort will build from NanoSonic's independently validated hybrid nanocomposite armor materials that have demonstrated independently validated abrasion resistance against high velocity solid particles, durability against high velocity fragment simulation projectiles, and protection from buried C4 landmine explosives. Optimized drysuit liner materials will be supplied to suggested SOF diver drysuit manufacturers for trial integration efforts during the base 6-month effort. BENEFITS: NanoSonic's highly flexible, lightweight ceramic nanocomposite drysuit armor liners have envisioned utility within a broad spectrum of soldier armor ensembles and field protective equipment. By combining the exceptional flexibility, impact durability, flame resistance and mechanical strength of NanoSonic's antiballistic hybrid copolymers with reinforcing, shear thickening Kevlarr and Dyneemar composites, an innovative class of armor capable of defeating a broad spectrum of ballistic, puncture, laceration and abrasive threats will be realized. Importantly, researchers will tailor the viscosity, processing window and cure schedule of the proposed armor panels for a graceful transition into commonly employed composite manufacturing techniques (pultrusion, compression molding, resin transfer molding (RTM), vacuum transfer molding (VARTM), prepregging and hand lay-up). Thus, researchers envision facile integration pathways within a broad spectrum of body armor technologies, as well as potential secondary utility for direct application to vulnerable exterior structures of tactical vehicles. The synthetic and manufacturing metrics of the proposed nanocomposite resins will facilitate 55-gallon Phase I scale-up opportunities thus enabling a rapid Phase III transition.
Small Business Information at Submission:
P.O. Box 618 Christiansburg, VA 24068
Number of Employees: