Body armour composite fabrics: An overview

Seshadri Ramkumar, Lohit Shastri, Richard W. Tock, Dennis C. Shelly

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

3 Scopus citations


High performance armour fibres carries sub-sections on aramids (describing "Kevlar" with nine special characteristics for ballistic protection listed) and high strength polyethylene fibres (covering "Spectra" fibre). A patented process called gel-spinning is used to produce "Spectra" fibres, invented by Smith and Lemstra of DSM. The process is explained with a list of nine characteristics achieved. Toyobo and DSM jointly produced "Dyneema" fibre in the 1980s with the latest development "Dyneema SK60" noted. The method of construction of body armour is examined with "Spectra Shield" and thermoplastic "Kraton" resin. The future of composites manufacturing technology is detailed, focusing on filament winding and 3D weaving. The functions and advantages of these technologies are described. Performance gains for body armour can be achieved through synergism of fibre chemistry and weaving/assembly designs. A research program underway at Texas Tech University is noted and aims to develop leather based ballistic protection clothing substrates using nonwovens and weaving technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Specialist publicationInternational Textile Bulletin: Nonwovens, Industrial Textiles
StatePublished - Jun 2002

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