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Application of Auxetic Textiles to Military Protective Clothing


OBJECTIVE: Research and development of auxetic textiles for use in military protective clothing (e.g. body armor). DESCRIPTION: Usually, when a textile is stretched, it becomes longer in the direction in which the load is applied, and narrower in the transverse direction. Auxetic textiles, however, become fatter when stretched and thinner when compressed, exhibiting negative Poisson"s ratio. Several unique properties result from the"negative Poisson"s ratio effect"including increased shear modulus, indentation resistance, fracture toughness, energy absorption, porosity/permeability variation with strain, and synclastic curvature. (Ref 1) Some of the proposed applications that could exploit these properties include helmets, body armor, gloves, padding and other types of protective clothing. PHASE I: Provide an initial research and development effort that demonstrates scientific merit and capabilities of applying auxetic textiles to military protective clothing. PHASE II: Laboratory scale specimens fabricated and their textile properties characterized. PHASE III: Develop conceptual prototypes to demonstrate the suitability of the technology in a field evaluation. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: In addition to the military market, auxetic textiles might be applicable to protective clothing worn by the first responder community and athletes.
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