Degradation of Military Body Armour due to Wear: Laboratory Testing
by Ryan Pinto, Debra Carr, Mark Helliker, Liz Girvan and Nicky Gridley Textile Research Journal published online 1 February 2012 DOI: 10.1177/0040517511435010
This paper fills the gap in our current understanding of the degradation of para-aramid woven Kevlar fabrics used in military body armour.
On functionality and role: Body armour’s expected operational life is very short, max 10 years, but often it comes only with 5 years of warranty.
Construction: Body armor construction is complex, composite and multi layered and the paper gives some insights into the layers present.
Tests used: using layered Kevlar packs imitating the garment, aged with tumble drying + elevated T, + ballistic testing. Measured: tensile of the fabric not yarn.
Tensile properties of the fabric found to be more susceptible to degradation from tumbling compared to yarn.
Touches upon the problem of assessing the degree of degration of the inner layers of the garment.
The problem of assessing tensile properties of a layered fragment vs single layer, vs yarn is discussed.