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A Graphical Approach for Assessing High Strength Fiber Performance



Walter G. McDonough, Gale A. Holmes, Amanda L. Forster, Kirk D. Rice


The design and materials used for bullet resistant body armor have evolved continuously to keep up with the threats. In this paper, a graphical approach is presented that plots the potential strain energy absorption of some common high performance fibers relative to their sonic velocities. These data emphasize the contention of Roylance and Wang and the observation of Phoenix and Porwal that optimal ballistic performance in soft body armor applications arises from a balance between the specific strain energy absorption and sonic velocity of the fiber. By comparing data in the literature on fibers used in ballistic applications, inferences can be made about how energy absorption and sonic velocity may influence ballistic fragmentation resistance and high energy projectiles. In addition, these types of comparison plots may provide critical insight as to how molecular structure can impact short and long-term ballistic performance.
Proceedings Title
SAMPE 2010 Annual Technical Conference
Conference Dates
May 17-20, 2010
Conference Location
Seattle, WA


ballistic fibers, impact


McDonough, W. , Holmes, G. , Forster, A. and Rice, K. (2010), A Graphical Approach for Assessing High Strength Fiber Performance, SAMPE 2010 Annual Technical Conference, Seattle, WA, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created May 20, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017