Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Mold New Material to Protect Troops

13.12.2004


When it comes to protecting America’s combat troops in battle, research under way at the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering could be a lifesaver.



Under a partnership with Armor Holdings, Inc. of Jacksonville, FSU researchers are developing and testing first-of-its-kind body armor for soldiers’ arms and legs that could reduce fatalities and loss of limbs when they are wounded.

"Most of the folks who die in military conflicts don’t die from getting shot," said James Thagard, a visiting assistant professor with the engineering school’s Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies (FAC2T). "Seventy-five to 80 percent die from getting hit by shrapnel and excessive bleeding."


Troops already receive protective helmets, bulletproof vests and shoulder armor to help them survive combat, but their arms and legs are exposed. The armor would be among the first products manufactured by the defense industry to protect soldiers’ extremities.

"The reality is you can’t protect everything," Thagard said. "There are always areas of a soldier’s body that will be exposed, but this is a good place to start. Right now there are no requirements for extremity protection."

FSU received $100,000 from Armor Holdings in November to cover two months of research. More grants from the company are expected in 2005 to continue the work. As part of the partnership, FSU researchers are also experimenting with polymers toughened with carbon nanotubes to improve the strength of fabrics used to make bulletproof armor.

In developing the new body armor, Thagard bound multiple layers of fabric and plastic materials together to create the experimental armor. Ballistics tests show the combination of materials exceeds the new requirements for bulletproof vests while providing the necessary aesthetic and mechanical properties so the armor can be worn comfortably. Thagard has begun making prototype pieces of the armor, which will be given to Armor Holdings to manufacture on a broad scale for field-testing. Armor Holdings already manufactures vests and other plates that soldiers wear to protect their torso.

"There is more that can be done to protect beyond the core torso area," said Bob Mecredy, president of the Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group. "We are thrilled to be partnering with Florida State and believe our combined efforts will produce results that have a direct, even lifesaving, benefit for soldiers in the field."

Thagard’s new armor will likely be field tested at military training facilities in the coming weeks and months to see if it can be comfortably worn and isn’t too bulky.
"It’s really promising that we’ve been able to come up with this at FSU," Thagard said holding a panel of the new armor. "We know that this recipe is good and just hope it can be utilized quickly to help save more soldiers."

The partnership with Armor Holdings represents just the latest area of high-tech composite materials research at the Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies. In addition to the new body armor, Thagard and other researchers have developed lightweight, custom leg supports for various uses. One brace helps Navy Seabee Anthony Muller of Jacksonville to walk after he sustained a severe leg wound in Iraq. Another support keeps FSU Seminole star receiver Craphonso Thorpe at peak performance after he suffered a broken leg last year.

"We are only scratching the surface in realizing the potential of composites," said Professor Ben Wang, the center’s director. "I am really excited about this project. Anytime you can develop a technology that will save lives and make life better for the men and women serving our nation, you can’t help but be excited."

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.fsu.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials
21.07.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing
20.07.2017 | University of Leeds

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>