Composites in Armor

I came upon this article (pdf below- sorry I don’t have handy html but it’s from the journal Science so links require subscription sign in etc) on some new and ongoing science on material composites and in particular their application for armor. Given the interests of some readers of this blog I thought a portion of you may find it an interesting read. The article is brief but discusses some of the latest composites for military vehicle armor and flexible composite armor for body protection. There are newer M5 and PBO fibers which deforms less and has very high strengths- in the region of 5 GPa (Kevlar I’ve read has anywhere from 3.62 to sometimes in excess of 4.0 GPa- though this is information I’ve gathered from various web sites so if someone has different, and potentially more accurate, information please feel free to share). The article reports that US Army tests on the M5 fibers suggest that they will provide weight savings of 40 to 60% for protection equivalent to that provided by Kevlar fibers (though potentially increased protection with their higher moduli and GPa but I’m not a materials scientist). Anyways- I found it kind of neat and I’m not even into this kind of stuff so I hope some of you enjoy.


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