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Title: Optimisation of soft armour : a study of layering
Author: Baker, Lisa Jayne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 1065
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2017
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Typical soft armour systems are constructed of multiple layers of a single fabric type. This empirical research sought to optimise these systems through hybridisation, sequencing dissimilar armour fabrics to maximise their ballistic protective performance. Eight individual plain weave fabrics with a spectrum of properties were manufactured from para- aramid and UHMWPE yarns and physical and ballistic characterisations were conducted. The ballistic impact tests established the specific energy absorption (SEA) of each fabric across a range of impact velocities (340 m s 1- 620 m-s'1) and the transverse displacement wave velocity across the rear of the fabric was found using digital image correlation. Low cover factor fabrics consistently showed faster transverse wave speed than the high cover factor fabrics (0.84 -0.96) for any given yarn type. The relative SEA of the fabrics varied dependent on both impact velocity and number of plies impacted. In general, the higher cover factor (0.84-0.96) fabrics, had greater SEA under low velocity (340 m-s'1) multi-ply impact conditions, and the low cover factor fabrics (0.74-0.84) had greater SEA across all the single ply impacts. Hybrid systems of the test fabrics showed significant difference in SEA dependent on layer order. The para-aramid hybrid systems impacted at 340 m-s'1, showed a significantly greater SEA when the fabrics were ordered with increasing rather than decreasing cover factor. At 620 m-s'1 the difference in SEA was less pronounced or was absent entirely. It was concluded that hybridisation would enhance the performance of a soft armour system and that this was likely to be most effective for the rear layers of the system where incorporation of fabrics with progressively increasing cover factor and manufactured of fine (550 dTex) para-aramid yarns would offer an advantage. The front layers of the system that are subject to higher strain loading would benefit from low cover factor fabrics (0.76) which maximise the dissipation of strain from the point of impact.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available