Novel ballistic ramie fabric composite competing with Kevlar™ fabric in multilayered armor

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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. It was reported recently that the most important function of a polymeric backing plate in multilayered ballistic armor system (MBAS) is capturing the post-impact debris coming from fragmented front ceramic tile. Following this discovery, conventional Kevlar™ fabric was replaced in this study with a 30 vol.% ramie fabric - reinforced epoxy composite and underwent ballistic tests with 7.62 mm ammunition. Multiple tests with a clay witness (simulating a personal body) revealed a 10-20% smaller depth of indentation made by penetrating projectiles in MBAS equipped with a novel ramie - epoxy composite backing plate as compared to Kevlar™ fabric. The massive capturing of ceramic fragments was observed for both the Kevlar™ fabric and ramie - epoxy composite, although the novel composite dissipated 3 times more energy during the process. Impedance-matching analysis corroborates the ballistic performance results. The 95% cost reduction indicates a substantial economic advantage of the ramie - epoxy composite over Kevlar™.

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Materials and Design