An Approach to Analyze Personnel Injury of Reflective Spall From Small-Arms Protective Body Armor

Report No. ARL-TR-5595
Authors: Rebecca VanAmburg
Date/Pages: July 2011; 16 pages
Abstract: Fragmenting debris from ballistic impacts defeated by the protective plates in body armor, also known as reflective spall, has the potential to injure personnel wearing the protective plate. This has not been evaluated in the past due to difficulties in data collection as well as a lack of information on whether or not there is a legitimate risk of injury. Our objective was to develop a test procedure and analysis process to determine the potential for serious injury from reflective spall.

The testing and analysis was conducted by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate. The testing included a custom experimental setup to collect the reflective spall using ballistic gelatin. The fragments recovered in the gelatin were used to quantify the potential for significant injury to the Soldier. Personnel vulnerability modeling and analysis were conducted using the MUVES-S2 modeling and simulation software. This software allowed the analysts to quantify potential hazards to the Soldier. The maximum abbreviated injury score was used to determine the likelihood of significant injury. Our approach of testing and analysis was able to quantify the potential for significant injury to the Soldier.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: July 1, 2011