Cost-Effective Manufacturing of Damage-Tolerant Integral Armor.

Report No. ARL-TR-2319
Authors: Bruce K. Fink and John W. Gillespie.
Date/Pages: September 2000; 51 pages
Abstract: The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the University of Delaware (UD) have developed an enabling technology to produce a polymer matrix composite-based integral armor with improved multihit ballistic capability. Current applications for integral armor composites include the Composite Armored Vehicle (CAV) technology demonstrator and Crusader self-propelled howitzer platforms. Present integral armor manufacturing processes involve adhesive bonding of a composite structure with ballistic armor tiles, spall shield, and nuisance cover. ARL, UD, and the CAV/Crusader composite structure contractor, United Defense Limited Partnership (UDLP), assessed through-thickness stitching to improve the multihit capability and reduce manufacturing costs. The patent- pending co-injection resin-transfer molding (CIRTM) process was used to produce a stitched, co-injected integral armor panel that demonstrated improved multihit capability. The spall shield was fabricated with a phenolic resin for fire, smoke, and toxicity protection, while the remainder of the integral armor (structural composite resin encapsulating the tiles and the nuisance cover) was fabricated with an epoxy resin for structural performance. Through-thickness stitching and CIRTM were used to enhance the damage tolerance and to reduce the cost of the armor.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2000