High Strain Rate and Ballistic Materials

Lightweight & Specialty Metals

Researches the use of lightweight metals for application to a variety of platforms including the reduction of Soldier equipment and vehicle platforms. Other materials investigations include tungsten carbide composition and process development. The desired tungsten carbide compositions contain no cobalt and studies explore densification methods.

  • Processing Nano-scale Metallics
  • Nanocrystalline Tungsten Alloys
  • Optimized Tungsten Carbide
  • Integrated Processing for Enhanced Durability
  • Magnesium
  • Aluminum for Vehicle Protection
  • Gun Barrel Improvement

Ceramics and Transparent

Research examines lightweight boron-based compositions and novel transparent materials for Soldier and platform protection. Boron carbide and alternative compositions of B6O and AlB12 offer lightweight and high hardness. Research in this area focuses on processing techniques and methods by which the ceramic materials fail. Research in transparent materials includes materials based on polymers reinforced with naturally derived nanocrystalline cellulose and effects of glass composition on ballistic resistance.

  • Boron-based Ceramics
  • Ceramics for Protection
  • Transparent Polymer-Polymer Composites
  • Inelastic Deformation Mechanisms in SiC
  • Multiscale Modeling of AlON
  • Nanocellulose Transparent Composites

Fabrics and Wearable

Research explores high-rate penetration resistance properties of monolithic and hybrid fabrics for unprecedented strength and stiffness. Computational capabilities explore nanoscale structure-property relationships, atomistic level constitutive properties, and relationships to bridge from single fiber level to yarn level properties. Laser-based chemical vapor deposition (CVD) techniques explore rapid graphene growth.

  • 3D Woven Fabric
  • Multiscale Response of Fibers and Fabrics
  • Knit Architecture for Comfort and Protection
  • Degradation Effects of Ballistic Fibers
  • Improved Models for Soft Body Armor
  • Membrane Materials

Energy Absorber

Research focuses on the behavior of polymer networks in mechanical environments for vehicle protection. The goals are to develop an understanding of the chemical, physical, and structural factors that influence the strain rate dependent mechanical response of glassy polymer networks (epoxies) and seek new network designs with enhanced rate dependent properties.

  • Ion-containing Polymers
  • Behavior of Polymer Networks
  • Energy Absorbing Materials for Underbody Blast Mitigation
  • Energy Dissipating Materials - Foams and Honeycombs for Helmet Application
  • Auxetic Materials

Composites and Hybrid

Identifies high rate mechanisms, materials, processes, and concepts required to enable quantifiable improvement in soldier and vehicle protection. The effort applies model and tool suite development for computational solutions, composite material and architecture lay-ups, improved processing to circumvent void formation in processed materials, and the incorporation of multi-scale materials integration. Research also examines the process-property-performance relationships associated with ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) composites. Multi-physics models are being developed to predict the influence of processing on the properties of the fiber tow/matrix/interface constituents.

  • Process and Modeling UHMWPE
  • Novel Synthesis Routes for Graphene
  • Novel Synthesis Routes for Graphene
  • Durable Hybrid Composites
  • Composite Models

Penetrator and Warhead Materials

Research investigates the use of nanocrystalline tungsten materials for the replacement of depleted uranium (DU). Research also investigates the replacement of conventional tracers with a phosphorescent material to provide one-way luminescence, and developing a material that charges in the gun barrel, emits at the desired wavelength, and emits for the required length of time.

  • Enhanced Lethality Warhead Mechanism RP3 UFG Liners for Warheads
  • Enabling Technology for KE RP2 Replacement DU
  • One Way Luminescence (Daylight Tracer)
  • Kinetic Energy Penetrators

Advanced Mechanics of Materials

Seeks to develop improved understanding of impact dynamics for applications in lethality and protection. This effort focuses on understanding the response of materials and structures subjected to intense short-duration loading under conditions over a wide range of velocity impacts.


Last Update / Reviewed: February 5, 2015