An In-Depth Analysis of Competing 3-D Printed Methods for the Mobile Manufacturing of Body Armor at the Point of Need

Report No. ARL-TR-8684
Authors: Tyrone L Jones; Lionel Vargas-Gonzalez; Brian Scott; Bill Goodman; Benjamin Becker
Date/Pages: April 2019; 33 pages
Abstract: The goal of this work is to present results of mechanical characterization and ballistic investigation of 3-D printed alumina (Al2O3)-based armor plates. The 8-mm-thick plates were manufactured using two additive manufacturing-based methods: pressurized spray deposition and direct ink write (DIW). The DIW Al2O3 plates exhibited superior hardness, flexural strength, and density compared to the tape cast plates. Plates (90 mm ? 90 mm ? 8 mm) of this composition were manufactured for ballistic analysis in accordance with established ballistic characterization procedures, using a 50.8-mm-thick aluminum 6061 plate as backing and witness plates in the case of penetration or deformation. Six Al2O3 plates were examined ballistically (one shot per plate) against the 12.7-mm APM2 projectile (45.9 g) at an impact velocity of 840 m/s. The plates that were manufactured using the DIW method provided a higher impact resistance than the tape cast method.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2019