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On the ultimate potential of high strength polymeric fibers to reduce armor weight

: Werff, Harm van der; Heisserer, Ulrich; Coussens, Betty; Stepanyan, Roman; Riedel, Werner; Lässig, Torsten

Chocron, Sidney (Ed.):
30th International Symposium on Ballistics 2017. Proceedings. Vol.2 : Long Beach, California, USA, September 11-15, 2017
Lancaster, Pa.: DEStech Publications, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-60595-419-6
International Symposium on Ballistics <30, 2017, Long Beach/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer EMI ()
armor; ballistic; fiber; polyethylene; polymer; textile fiber; all fiber; atomic bond; fiber system; high strength; polyethylene fiber; polymeric fiber; rigid rod; theoretical strength; tensile strength

The capability of polymeric fiber based composites to stop ballistic projectiles at low armor weight is predominantly related to the specific tensile strength of the fibers. This paper and presentation discusses the ultimate theoretical and experimental specific tensile strength of various polymeric fibers (polyethylene, para-Aramids, rigid-rods, graphene). It is concluded that the realistic achievable strength of these fiber systems is about half the theoretical strength of single atomic bonds. Ultimate experimental strengths of most fiber systems have reached almost 50 % of this realistic achievable strength. Considering that no defect structures have yet been incorporated in this theoretical strength, it is postulated that these fibers strength can not be increased strongly anymore. Polyethylene fibers, like Dyneema®, have the highest experimental specific fibers strength of all fibers, which would enable a reduction in armor weight by 40% of the current best polyethylene fiber based armor.