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 Beyond conventional solution-process for 2-D heterostructure
22.06.2018 | Science China Press

nachricht Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film
22.06.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>