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Prediction of the Durability of Composite Soft Ballistic Inserts

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The main goal of this research was to develop a method of predicting the durability of soft ballistic inserts made of a high-strength composite based on polyethylene ultra-high molecular weight (UHMWPE) fibres. The research presents a program of tests on the simulated use of composite ballistic inserts elaborated in order to predict the durability as well as changes in the ballistic, physical and mechanical properties occurring due to conditions of use. The research program took the following three procedures of the aging simulation of the ballistic inserts into account: procedure 1 – applying a mechanical load to the insert; procedure 2 – applying a mechanical load along with a temperature cycle to the insert; procedure 3 – applying a mechanical load, temperature cycle and liquid solution simulating human perspiration to the insert. The procedures were verified experimentally by examining inserts made out of soft composite polyethylene Dyneema® SB 21. Also verification by means of the Snedecor’s F-test was carried out. It was shown that the effect of mechanical loading, temperature cycling, and the solution simulating human perspiration influences the progress of degradation of the polyethylene material. The research work included testing new ballistic inserts made of a polyethylene composite, as well as ones subjected to simulation ageing. To investigate the correlation between the natural ageing process and the simulated one, ballistic inserts used under natural conditions for 5, 7, 9 and 13 years were examined. Selected samples were used for the determination of mechanical and ballistic property variation as well as changes in their chemical structure. Changes in the microstructure of the ballistic material were assessed by DSC analysis and infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR).


simulation of use, accelerated ageing, ballistic protection, bullet-proof vests, fragment-proof vests, ballistic protection, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, crystallinity.


Fejdyś M, Cichecka M, Łandwijt M, Struszczyk MH. Prediction of the Durability of Composite Soft Ballistic Inserts. FIBRES & TEXTILES in Eastern Europe 2014; 22, 6(108): 81-89.

Published in issue no 6 (108) / 2014, pages 81–89.


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