Exoskeleton Blast Protection for IED

Period of Performance: 11/25/2005 - 08/25/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Warwick Mills
301 Turnpike Road
New Ipswich, NH 03071
Principal Investigator


Warwick's expertise with high-performance, protective textiles has led to the development of innovative solutions, including new body armor systems for multiple threats and the protective crash bag material used to land NASA's Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers. We propose to create a lightweight, flexible, multi-layered system that will effectively mitigate the powerful forces of tension and compression that can cause traumatic limb separation caused by IED blast. Most existing body armor systems use a hard plate to protect against ballistic threats to the torso, and some also contain a softer fabric system to provide protection from fragmentation, but there is nothing available to today's warfighters that addresses issues of limb separation. This lack of protection leaves the wearer's extremities vulnerable to severe, often fatal, injuries caused by blast overpressure. Our research efforts will seek to achieve an optimal material combination that can absorb and dissipate energy from overpressure and can also withstand fragmentation of 0.100-1.2g. Proper selection of materials is vital, as each component will provide a critical level of protection. Furthermore, materials chosen must also be pliable enough so that end products meet dexterity, agility, and flexibility needs, especially when worn in combination with traditional hard-round ballistic body armor.