Investigation of Basalt Woven Fabrics for Military Applications

Report No. ARL-TR-5815
Authors: David M. Spagnuolo, Eugene Napadensky, Tomoko Sano, and James P. Wolbert
Date/Pages: November 2011; 28 pages
Abstract: This report investigates the use of basalt fibers in a composite along with SC-15 epoxy resin for ballistic protection. Basalt fibers are not known as a ballistic material but rather as a structural one. Even though basalt fibers are not expected to outperform some of the higher ballistic performing materials such as the aramid and polyethylene fibers; however, due to the lower manufacturing costs, basalt fibers are an interesting alternative. The objective of this project was to gain a basic understanding of the properties of basalt fibers and their potential use for certain military applications. Therefore, some of the basic mechanical tests were used as a tool to compare properties to an S-2 glass epoxy system. The same was true for the ballistic tests that were performed. The basic mechanical tests used for comparative studies were flexural, tensile, and short-beam shear strength. The basalt epoxy composites compared well with S-2 properties. Fragment tests were also investigated for two areal densities, 1-psf and 5-psf systems, using a 17- and 44-gn fragment simulating projectile (FSP), respectively. Again, the basalt epoxy performed well for these tests as compared to an S-2 similar system.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2011