Creating Advanced Body Armor by Combining Web Geometry with Shear Thickening Fluids

Body armor is currently created using geometry based on Kevlar fabric. This research focuses on determining how to make the design stronger and more effective by using several combinations and strength thickening fluids.

Problem Statement: Will a material based on the geometry of a hexagon have a higher strength than a material based on the geometry of Kevlar fabric? Will Shear Thickening Fluid make the armor ballistic proof?

Hypothesis: If Strength Thickening Fluid is added to the hexagonal designed Kevlar, then it will show a greater impact resistance than a STF impregnated Kevlar-grid design. If they are both shot through the center with the same conditions, the hexagonal design will have more resistance and protection than the Kevlar grid design.

Method:

  • Using plastic hoops and Kevlar, create geometric weaves: grid and hexagonal. Place 4”
    diameter paper behind weave. Fill rest of hoop with foam.
  • Make and apply STF (calcium carbonate and polyethylene glycol).
  • Heat in incubator, reapply STF, reheat.
  • Place cardboard behind sample. Shoot using BB gun from 25 yards.
  • Record/compare damage and analyze.

Results: The Hexagon samples performed better. The ammunition went through every Kevlar grid design and box cleanly. It didn’t go through the box on any of the Hexagonal samples. On two of the Hexagonal samples the ammunition was stopped at the second layer of foam.

Conclusion: My hypothesis was correct. The Hexagonal designs performed best. It stopped penetration of the cardboard in every test whereas the grid design could not. It performed better
than the Foam/Cardboard Controls. The hexagonal design was proven stronger from testing and mathematical analysis. Previous testing proved it had higher tensile strength. This testing shows it has higher ballistic strength.

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Creating Advanced Body Armor by Combining Web Geometry with Shear Thickening Fluids

Body armor is currently created using geometry based on Kevlar fabric. This research focuses on determining how to make the design stronger and more effective by using several combinations and strength thickening fluids.

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