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Evaluation of Degradation Models for High Strength p-Aramid Fibres Used in Body Armour



Kirk D. Rice, Amy E. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Emilien J. Guigues, Amanda L. Forster


To improve the reliability and design of armour, it is imperative to understand the failure modes and the degradation rates of the materials used in armour. Despite the best efforts of manufacturers, some vulnerability of armour materials to ageing due hydrolytic or oxidative environments is expected and may result in the degradation of material properties such as tensile strength. In this work, p-aramid yarns from two manufacturers were exposed to environmental conditions of various fixed temperature and humidity combinations. The maximum temperature and humidity condition was 70 °C, 76 % RH, to avoid introducing degradation mechanisms unlikely to be seen in use. Tensile tests were performed on samples extracted at several different timepoints over the course of at least one year to determine degradation in ultimate tensile strength and failure strain as a function of time, temperature, and humidity. These materials were found to be generally resistant to degradation at most conditions, only showing changes of less than 10 % at the highest temperature and humidity conditions.
Proceedings Title
Personal Armour Systems Symposium
Conference Dates
October 1-5, 2018
Conference Location
Washington, DC, US


degradation models, body armour, aramid, armor, tensile strength


Rice, K. , Engelbrecht-Wiggans, A. , Guigues, E. and Forster, A. (2018), Evaluation of Degradation Models for High Strength p-Aramid Fibres Used in Body Armour, Personal Armour Systems Symposium, Washington, DC, US (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created October 1, 2018, Updated March 20, 2023