A Highly Damped, High strength, Puncture-resistant Fabric for Multi-threat Protective Uniforms

Period of Performance: 06/09/1999 - 06/08/2001


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Dynamic Structures (old:spec. Analysis)
2909 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Extended development of multi-threat protective fabric for use in military uniforms is proposed. A highly successful Phase I development of multi-threat resistant fabric was conducted by DSM. In the Phase I effort, enhancements were made to contemporary fabrics through the integration of Nitinol fibers into the fabric weave. The test results showed that the Nitinol-enhanced fabric was 20 times more cut resistant and 2.6 times more tear resistant with no measurable change in the material stiffness. Uniform prototype development, further fabric improvements, more detailed investigation of wear qualities and cost-effective manufacturing issues will be addressed in the Phase II effort. Two additional aspects of the Phase II are proposed. The first is the development of specialty uniforms or suits for use in extreme and dangerous environments. High temperature, chemically harsh, or intense acoustic environment suits will be enhanced through the addition of passive damping, actuators, sensors and controllers to increase the safety of the wearer. The second additional aspect of the Phase II is the improvement of a parachute's performance by tailoring the fabric to respond to critical failure conditions in a stable, controlled manner. The parachute material will be tailored to be more resistant to flutter instability resulting in more consistent openings and load carrying capabilities. The parachute's wear, tear and puncture resistance will be increased, yielding longer parachute life and usability.