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Non-linear Dynamic Energy Altering Technologies for Body Armor Applications


OBJECTIVE: To develop and demonstrate novel state of the art materials and/or technologies to eliminate or reduce behind-armor-blunt-trauma (BABT) without a compromise in ballistic performance. DESCRIPTION: A commonly utilized method to dissipate the energy from an armor-piercing small or medium caliber ballistic projectile event involves the use of metal or composite backings. These materials are usually bonded behind ceramics onto metal and/or composite backings with low-density, low-impedance, and low shear strength adhesives. The subjects of understanding the dynamic energy dissipation methods or energy harvesting capability of materials under impact are areas of concentrated investigation that will forge the development of new solutions for protection. In anticipation of new and/or unforeseen threats as they emerge, continual improvements in armor systems are necessary. Beyond the revolutions in materials technologies that design engineers may come up with, alternative means of improving armor systems are required. It is understood that the effectiveness of small-arms-protective-insert (SAPI) plates can be increased if the energy transferred can be dynamically altered (mitigated or utilized in another form) to reduce the trauma inflicted on the soldier during the ballistic arrest on the SAPI plate. Therefore, the focus of this program is to fundamentally explore methods for enhancing the performance of SAPI plates through the development of advanced materials and/or processes that synergistically work together to mitigate or utilize another form of energy from a projectile"s interaction. Critical technology areas to be addressed include non-linear dynamic energy dissipating mechanisms, non-linear dynamic energy displacement mechanisms, metamaterials, electromagnetic shock waves systems, advanced shock wave systems, and electroactive polymers. The primary objectives are to conceive, devise, model, fabricate, and experimentally validate advanced energy altering concepts and configurations that may be able to eliminate the behind armor blunt trauma from a SAPI plate. The advanced energy altering concepts and configurations must able to achieve and exploit dynamic energy altering mechanisms within the duration of the arrest (on the order of 1.0 millisecond). The advanced energy altering concepts and configurations must be lightweight and able to be scaled for threat escalation in the future. The advanced energy altering concepts and configurations will be evaluated against a baseline armor configuration. One will need to think about how to separate SAPI development and BABT reduction. These are two different things, but they are related. One can have a piece of material which would give you very low back face deformation, but the ballistic performance is very low. This topic requires the best ballistic materials/configurations/processing and at the same time, the lower backface deformation - that's the challenge. PHASE I: Phase I will focus on the fundamentals and conceptual feasibility. The advanced energy altering concepts and configurations must be lightweight and able to be scaled for threat escalation in the future. The advanced damping concepts and configurations will be fundamentally (modeling or otherwise) evaluated using a 6.5PSF (pounds-per-square-foot)"armor plate/insert"design, must stop APM2 capability against one shot from a APM2 projectile, and yielding a BABT (using current clay measurement) of 25mm or less BABT. The advanced energy altering concepts should have a quick response time that can reduce BABT without a weight penalty and no compromise in provide an equal ballistic performance. A successful Phase I will be determined by the quasi-static experimental validation of the"armor plate/insert"design concept to mitigate shock propagation and reduce BABT from a small arms impact. PM Soldier will support the conceptual effort during this phase. PHASE II: Phase II will focus on the experimental validation, integrating the Phase I concept into an"armor plate/insert"prototype for evaluation. The contractor will design, fabricate, and test both new advanced materials and dynamic processes to validate performance and applicability. All final evaluations will be conducted at The Army Research Laboratory. The advanced materials and dynamic processes must demonstrate improved deformation reduction at a competitive ballistic performance in a prototype lightweight protection system. PM Soldier will support the validation effort during this phase. PHASE III: The advanced protection component will be inserted into a SAPI system and transitioned for use to PEO Soldier. The advanced protection component will be commercialized into law enforcement protective equipment and athletic protective equipment (i.e. football, baseball, lacrosse, and National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)). REFERENCES: 1. Anderson Jr., C.E., Burkins, M.S., Walker, J.D., and Gooch, W.A.,"Time-Resolved Penetration of B4C Tiles by the APM2 Bullet", Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, Volume 8, Number 2, pp.91-104, 2005. 2. Divya Prakash G, Anish RV, Jagadeesh G, Chakravortty D,"Bacterial transformation using micro-shock waves", Analytical Biochemistry, Volume 419, Number 2, pp. 292-301. 3. Kataev, I.G.,"Electromagnetic Shock Waves", Iliffe, ISBN: 0592050017, 1966. 4. Kontis, K. ed.,"28th International Symposium on Shock Waves Proceedings", Volume 1, Springer-Verlag GmbH, ISBN: 3642256872, January 2012. 5. Priya, S., and Inman, D.J. ed.,"Energy Harvesting Technologies", Springer, ISBN: 0387764631, 2009 6. Buschow, K.H.J. ed.,"Handbook of Magnetic Materials", Volume 20, ISBN: 0444563717, March 2012.
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