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Effect of Artificial Perspiration and Cleaning Chemicals on Mechanical and Chemical Properties of Ballistic Fibers



Joannie W. Chin, Sylvain H. Petit, Amanda L. Forster, Michael A. Riley, Kirk D. Rice


During routine field use of soft body armor, the ballistic panels often become saturated with perspiration. This condition motivates the user to clean and/or deodorize the armor, and anecdotal evidence is given for various methods used to accomplish this. While the cleaning/deodorization is usually performed on the armor liners and coverings, there is concern that the chemicals could seep into the ballistic panels. The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of perspiration and cleaning chemicals on the mechanical and chemical properties of aramid, poly(p-phenylene benzobisoxazole), and ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene ballistic yarns and fabrics following controlled cycles of exposure to artificial perspiration and dilute solutions of common cleaning chemicals. It was observed that the effect of the artificial perspiration on properties of all materials tested was the same as that of water alone. Of all of the cleaning chemicals employed, only chlorine bleach had a detrimental effect on fiber properties that was above and beyond that of water alone. All other cleaning chemical solutions and artificial perspiration induced the same effects as water alone.
Journal of Applied Polymer Science


artificial perspiration, body armor, ballistic fibers, poly(benzazole), aramid, ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene, chlorine bleach, infrared spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, tensile testing.


Chin, J. , Petit, S. , Forster, A. , Riley, M. and Rice, K. (2009), Effect of Artificial Perspiration and Cleaning Chemicals on Mechanical and Chemical Properties of Ballistic Fibers, Journal of Applied Polymer Science (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017