NRL Develops Lighter, Field Repairable Transparent Armor

The NRL-developed transparent polymer armor consists of alternating layers of elastomeric polymer and a harder material substrate. Very small crystalline domains, which also provide rigidity, give the polymer its transparency. (U.S. NRL)
Photo source
www.nrl.navy.mil

Date: 25 May 2017

Research chemists at U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have developed and patented a transparent thermoplastic elastomer armor to reduce weight, inherent in most bullet-resistant glass, while maintaining superior ballistic properties.

Thermoplastic elastomers are soft, rubbery polymers converted by physical means, rather than a chemical process, to a solid. Consequently, the solidification is reversible and enables damaged armor surfaces to be repaired ‘on-the-fly’ in the field.

“Heating the material above the softening point, around 100 degrees Celsius, melts the small crystallites, enabling the fracture surfaces to meld together and reform via diffusion,” said Dr. Mike Roland, senior scientist, NRL Soft Matter Physics. “This can be accomplished with a hot plate, akin to an iron, that molds the newly forming surface into a smooth, flat sheet with negligible effect on integrity.”

Up to now, NRL scientists have tested the use of polymeric materials as a coating to achieve improved impact resistance of hard substrates. Applying polyurea and polyisobutylene layers enhance the ballistic performance of armor and helmets, and achieve greater ballistic effectiveness and mitigation of blast waves.

By using a variation of employing thermoplastic elastomers, NRL scientists are able to recreate superior ballistic properties of polyurea and polyisobutylene coatings, with the added benefit of the material being transparent, lighter than conventional bullet-resistant glass, and repairable.

“Because of the dissipative properties of the elastomer, the damage due to a projectile strike is limited to the impact locus. This means that the affect on visibility is almost inconsequential, and multi-hit protection is achieved,” Roland said.

NRL’s transparent thermoplastic elastomer armor technology is covered by U.S. Patent #9,285,191; “Polymer Coatings for Enhanced and Field-Repairable Transparent Armor.”

600450 NRL Develops Lighter, Field Repairable Transparent Armor glassonweb.com

See more news about:

Others also read

During these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to be working on your business, rather than working in it.
ACerS first virtual conference welcomes high attendance and variety of glass topics.
A+W Software is participating in GlassBuild Connect: The Glass & Fenestration Online Experience, taking place September 1-30, 2020
Trex Commercial Products provided more than 1,100 lf of Track Rail along the interior stairs and common area balcony overlooks in the multi-phase transformation of Atlanta’s Perimeter Mall.
The Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) will host a webinar entitled “The Florida Product Approval Program – How FGIA Can Help”.
This 8/13 session will focus on the appearance properties of glass and glazing to mitigate unanticipated outcomes of various treatments, presented by Steve Thomas, PE (CA) of Guardian Glass.

Add new comment

From industry

10924 Granite Street, Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28273
United States

NEWS RELATED PRODUCTS

Trex Commercial Products
Diamon-Fusion International, Inc.
Diamon-Fusion International, Inc.
Diamon-Fusion International, Inc.
Trex Commercial Products
Diamon-Fusion International, Inc.