Natural Mallow Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy Composite for Ballistic Armor Against Class III-A Ammunition
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Epoxy matrix composites reinforced with up to 30 vol pct of continuous and aligned natural mallow fibers were for the first time ballistic tested as personal armor against class III-A 9 mm FMJ ammunition. The ballistic efficiency of these composites was assessed by measuring the dissipated energy and residual velocity after the bullet perforation. The results were compared to those in similar tests of aramid fabric (Kevlar™) commonly used in vests for personal protections. Visual inspection and scanning electron microscopy analysis of impact-fractured samples revealed failure mechanisms associated with fiber pullout and rupture as well as epoxy cracking. As compared to Kevlar™, the mallow fiber composite displayed practically the same ballistic efficiency. However, there is a reduction in both weight and cost, which makes the mallow fiber composites a promising material for personal ballistic protection.
The authors acknowledge the support of this investigation by the Brazilian agencies CNPq, CAPES, and FAPERJ.
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