Materials such as high strength fibers are the foundation that provides the strength and performance of protective systems such as armor and composites. The STG conducts and performs fundamental research to advance the understanding of these high performance materials. Several STG projects in this focus area include identifying the chemical mechanisms responsible for ageing in high performance materials and their effect on performance, the development of novel characterizations tools for high performance materials, and an investigation of the effect of rate and temperature on the performance of fibers used in protective systems.
Understanding the ageing mechanisms that degrade high-performance materials is crucial to predicting the potential effect of environmental exposure and wear on physical, chemical, and morphological properties of common and emerging high strength fibers.
High performance materials have unique properties that require the development of novel measurement tools (namely positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy and heated single fiber tension Kolsky bar measurements) to understand structure property relationships in materials and how they change with material lifetime or condition.