Promising curaua fiber-reinforced polyester composite for high-impact ballistic multilayered armor

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© 2016 Society of Plastics Engineers A typical multilayered armor system (MAS) is composed of a harder front ceramic tile, which is able to erode heavy ammunition, such as the 7.62 mm bullet, followed by a second layer to further reduce the impact energy. Aramid fabric is a common choice for the second layer. In the present work, polyester matrix composites reinforced with 10 to 30 vol% of curaua fibers, despite having much lower strength and stiffness than aramid fabric, displayed similar trauma indentation in a standard clay witness simulating the human body. Impedance matching and scanning electron microscopy analyses suggest effective energy absorption through ceramic fragment capture by curaua composites. Additionally, because of the high cost of aramid fabric, a full MAS with curaua fiber composite is much cheaper than a MAS composed of aramid fabric. Taking into consideration, both the economical and environmental advantages of natural fibers, it is concluded that curaua fiber-reinforced polyester composite could replace aramid fabric as the second layer in MASs for personal ballistic protection. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 57:947–954, 2017. © 2016 Society of Plastics Engineers.

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Polymer Engineering and Science