Flexible Body Armor

Period of Performance: 06/17/2009 - 12/17/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanomech, LLC
535 W Research Blvd, Suite 135, M/S 100
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Principal Investigator


To facilitate combat operations and maintain adequate force protection, there is an immediate need for all-around body armor systems for US military forces. This need has driven advancement in developing, evaluating, modifying, and incorporating new and commercial protective materials and technologies for meeting the goal of flexible, light weight and more effective armor protection systems. Specifically, this project will focus on developing an innovative design that integrates boron carbide (B4C) nanoparticles as reinforcing or filler phases into commercial protective polymeric fabric materials such as Kevlar and ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) to enhance their strength, toughness and ballistic performance. The innovative design, materials, and fabrication process proposed in this project will substantially improve the durability of soft body armor systems, while reducing the mass and bulk size, covering contoured areas of the body for US service men and women. Similar benefits are expected for law enforcement teams working to strengthen US borders and security. Based on successful demonstration of the feasibility in Phase I, the NanoMech team will optimize the process, develop quality control criteria and explore scale-up of the manufacturing process for its repeatability, reproducibility, and durability for mass production in Phase II.