Title: Modeling the Forming Process Used in the Fabrication of Combat Helmets
Researchers: Kari White, Lisa Dangora, James Sherwood
Sponsors: U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center
Description: Predict the change in fiber orientation and ply thickness during the fabric forming process and the resulting influence of changes in fiber orientation and ply thickness on the pressure distribution during the combat helmet forming process. By developing a fundamental understanding of the changes, which take place in the laminate during the helmet forming process, forming processes can be developed which minimize these deleterious effects.
Impact & Soldier Empowerment: Ply distortion and pressure variations during processing have a negative impact on helmet performance. Currently, additional material is added to the helmet to compensate for these reductions in performance leading to a heavier helmet for a given level of protection. Coupled with NSRDECs current research on the effect of fiber orientation on ballistic performance, the data produced from this collaboration will lead to an improved helmet forming process by minimizing fiber orientation changes, ply areal density increase, and pressure variations during forming. By minimizing these deleterious effects, combat helmets can be made lighter while still providing the same level of protection.