Army Innovation Could Improve Function of Helmets, Facial Protection & More

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Army and MIT researchers modernized a singular initial device to improved exam a continuance of high opening and clever polymeric materials that seem to strengthen themselves underneath conflict by fast impact.

Scientists contend their find on bulk elastomers can assistance pattern pattern materials for composites for a destiny era of U.S. Army fight helmets. The Army’s extended fight helmet uses high opening ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene or UHMWPE fibers formed composites. U.S. Army illustration

Schematic painting of a laser-induced micro-particle impact test. U.S. Army illustration

The Army Research Laboratory’s Dr. Alex Hsieh, along with Prof. Keith A. Nelson, Dr. David Veysset and Dr. Steven Kooi, from a Army’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology during MIT, detected that when targets done of poly(urethane urea) elastomers, or PUUs, are impacted during really high speed by micro-particles done of silica, a PUU aim shows hyperelastic behavior. That is, they turn intensely unbending when misshapen during aria rates on a sequence of 108/s, that means roughly that a element of a aim deforms to half of a strange density in an intensely brief time equal to one second divided by hundred millions. PUUs also rebound behind after a impact, Hsieh said.

The exam device uses a pulsed laser to fire micrometer-sized bullets during targets done of PUUs. Researchers found, for a initial time, “behaviors that contrariety severely to a impact response celebrated in a cross-linked polydimethylsiloxane elastomer where micro-particles penetrated a aim and a aim element did not rebound behind or totally recover.”

Scientists contend their find on bulk elastomers can assistance pattern pattern materials for composites for a destiny era of U.S. Army fight helmets. The Army’s extended fight helmet uses high opening ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene, or UHMWPE, fibers formed composites. These fibers have high violation strength, per territory cranky territory area, about fifteen times stronger than steel though are stretchable like fabrics.

Traditional armor element designs embody ceramics, metals and lightweight fiber reinforced composites for both infantryman and car protection, that are typically formed on stiffness, a insurgency of a element opposite deformation, toughness, a ability to catch appetite and plastically twist before to fracture.

Hsieh pronounced a group focused on polymers, that are done adult of a really vast series of tiny molecular units that are strung together to form really prolonged chains, that can be good orderly or incidentally packed. Specifically, polymeric materials that are clever like impact-resistant reserve eyeglasses or stretchable like rubbers. Elastomers are a category of manmade rubbers, that can be synthesized from a extended operation of polymer chemistries.

A scanning nucleus microscopy picture reveals a permanent score on a aspect of polycarbonate in contrariety to poly(urethane urea) elastomers or PUUs, where no repairs was celebrated after impact. U.S. Army photo

“They generally have low Young’s modulus that means low insurgency to effervescent deformation underneath loading during ambient conditions, and aloft disaster aria — a capability to means significantly larger volume of aria before disaster — than many of a cosmetic materials,” he explained.

To serve countenance a molecular influence, a group has conducted extensive studies on PUUs along with a slick polycarbonate. While polycarbonate is famous for a high detonate toughness and ballistic strength, these PUUs, regardless of their particular composition, exhibited larger energetic stiffening during impact during aria rates on a sequence of 108/s. Furthermore, a insurgency opposite invasion of a micro-particle can be optimized, i.e. a ~ 50 percent rebate in a normal limit abyss of invasion was achieved by simply varying a molecular combination of PUUs.

“This is really exciting,” Hsieh said. “Seeing is believing. New bargain from these investigate discoveries — a hint of hyperelastic materialisation in bulk elastomers, quite during a impulse of target/impulse interaction, strongly points out to be a trustworthy pathway pivotal to utilizing disaster production and towards a new pattern model for clever materials.”

In further to fight helmets, other intensity applications of clever high opening elastomers for infantryman insurance embody though are not singular to pure face shields, beak face shields, ballistic vests, ascendancy protecting gear, and blast-resistant fight boots.

Source: Armed with Science

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