Thermoplastic Armor Systems for Aircraft and Light/Ultralight Vehicles
Small Business Information
3201 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104
AbstractThe survivability of vehicles and aircraft is greatly dependent on their mobility and level of armor protection. In most cases, mobility is best served by minimizing mass. Conversly, the level of protection afforded by an armor system is usually directly proportional to its mass. This leads to the difficult trade off of protection versus mobility. There- fore, armor systems with increased levels of protection at a fixed or de- creased mass are needed to improve survivability of the vehicle or aircraft. Plastics have all the desired properties of a good armor material; low density, impact resistance, and toughness. Investigations to this point have largly focused on transparent, moldable thermoplastic resins. However a large selection of opaque and semi-transparent thermoplastics exists that have promising properties but have yet to be ballistically evaluated. TM One such candidate material is DuPont KS(TM), a moldable thermoplastic. The objective of Phase I effort is to demonstrate the ballistic perfor- mance of thermoplastics in an armor system for use on light and ultra- light class vehicles and aircraft. We will concentrate on designing a thermoplastic system which matches the mass-efficiency of current ceramic armor systems. This will provide an armor with improved multihit capability, which is less expensive than the current ceramic-based armors. Anticipated Benefits/Potential Applications - This program will provide a concise and comprehensive review of thermo plastics as candidates for inclusion in lightweight armor systems. Through analysis and testing, thermoplastics will be directly compared to existing systems that employ metals and ceramics. These efforts will lead to the development and evaluation of new materials for lightweight armers. These systems will provide the required level of protection at the desired areal density with multi-hit capability and at a reduced cost.
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