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Armor materials, body armor articles and methods of manufacture / Honeywell International, Inc.




Title: Armor materials, body armor articles and methods of manufacture.
Abstract: An armor material, body armor articles, and methods of manufacturing the armor material are provided. In an embodiment, by way of example only, the armor material includes a first plate, a second plate, and a powder material. The first plate includes a layer comprising a metallic material. The second plate is spaced apart from the first plate and includes a layer comprising a ceramic material. The powder material is disposed between the first and the second plates, and comprises loose powder including at least one of a plurality of ceramic particles and a plurality of metallic particles. ...


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USPTO Applicaton #: #20120174750
Inventors: Reza Oboodi, Derek Raybould, Thomas E. Strangman


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120174750, Armor materials, body armor articles and methods of manufacture.

TECHNICAL FIELD

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The inventive subject matter generally relates to armor material, and more particularly relates to projectile-resistant armor material.

BACKGROUND

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Protective armor is used for protecting a person, vehicle or device from penetrating threats that may originate from devices used for explosive or ballistic events. Conventionally, the protective armor may be made of sheets of ceramic, metal, or a combination of these materials. Although these materials generally provide excellent protection, they may be improved. Specifically, it is desirable to provide a protective armor that may be more lightweight than conventional protective armor. Additionally, it is desirable to have a protective armor that may protect against various forms of projectile threats, such as solid particles and liquid molten metals. Moreover, it is desirable to have a protective armor made from material that is relatively inexpensive and simple to manufacture. Furthermore, other desirable features and characteristics of the inventive subject matter will become apparent from the subsequent detailed description of the inventive subject matter and the appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and this background of the inventive subject matter.

BRIEF

SUMMARY

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An armor material, a body armor article, and methods of manufacturing the armor material are provided.

In an embodiment, by way of example only, the armor material includes a first plate, a second plate, and a powder material. The first plate includes a layer comprising a metallic material. The second plate is spaced apart from the first plate and may include a layer comprising a ceramic material. The powder material is disposed between the first and the second plates, and comprises loose powder including at least one of a plurality of ceramic particles and a plurality of metallic particles.

In another embodiment, by way of example only, the body armor article includes a panel. The panel includes an armor material that has a first plate, a second plate, and a powder material. The first plate includes a layer comprising a metallic material. The second plate is spaced apart from the first plate and includes a layer comprising a ceramic material. The powder material is disposed between the first and the second plates, and comprises loose powder including at least one of a plurality of ceramic particles and a plurality of metallic particles.

In still another embodiment, by way of example only, the method includes placing and compacting loose powder material in selected cells of a plurality of cells between a first and a second plate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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The inventive subject matter will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the following drawing figures, wherein like numerals denote like elements, and

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of an armor material, according to an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an armor material, according to another embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of an armor material, according to still another embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the armor material in FIG. 3 taken along line 4-4, according an embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a side cross-sectional view of an armor material, according to another embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the armor material in FIG. 5 taken along line 6-6, according an embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a flow diagram of a method of manufacturing a armor material, according an embodiment; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an article of body armor, according to an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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The following detailed description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the inventive subject matter or the application and uses of the inventive subject matter. Furthermore, there is no intention to be bound by any theory presented in the preceding background or the following detailed description.

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of an armor material 100, according to an embodiment. The armor material 100 may be used to protect a person, vehicle, or a device from projectiles that may originate from an explosive or a ballistic threat. For example, the armor material 100 may be used as body armor, or may be implemented into or used to cover a vehicle or a device.

In an embodiment, the armor material 100 is configured to dissipate and absorb kinetic energy of a projectile by maintaining the projectile intact and/or by adding material to the projectile as it travels through the armor material 100. Generally, the armor material 100 includes a first plate 102, a second plate 104, and a powder material 106, according to an embodiment. As shown in FIG. 1, the first plate 102 and the second plate 104 are spaced apart from each other, and the powder material 106 is disposed therebetween. In an embodiment, the first and second plates 102, 104 may be spaced between about 0.2 cm and about 10 cm apart. In another embodiment, a fiber-composite fabric 108 (shown in phantom) may be positioned adjacent to the second plate 104 and may be separate from or adhered thereto. Each of these components will now be described in more detail below.

The first plate 102 may be initially impacted by the projectile and thus, is configured to absorb at least a portion of the kinetic energy therefrom. In an embodiment, the first plate 102 may be made of a metallic material, such as aluminum, titanium or steel. In an embodiment, the first plate 102 may have a thickness of between about 0.2 and about cm. In another embodiment, the first plate 102 may be a laminate and may include a first layer 110 and a second layer 112. Each layer 110, 112 may have a thickness of between about 0.1 cm and about 5 cm. At least one of the layers 110, 112 may comprise a first metallic material, such as aluminum, while the other layer 110, 112 may comprise a second metallic material, such as steel, titanium, or aluminum. The second layer 112 or an additional layer may comprise a ceramic material. Suitable ceramic materials include, but are not limited to, alumina, aluminum nitride, aluminosilicate, boron carbide, boron nitride silica, silicon nitride, silicon carbide, and zirconia. In an embodiment, where the first layer 110 is a soft metal such as aluminum and the second layer 112 is made of a relatively hard metal or ceramic material, the first layer 110 may facilitate projectile deformation (pancaking) on an outer surface of the armor material 100 with minimal shear stress transmitted to the second layer 112. As a result, the second layer 112 may have an enhanced ability to resist projectile penetration.

The powder material 106 is configured to absorb another portion of kinetic energy from the moving projectile to further reduce the speed at which the projectile is traveling, in an event in which the projectile passes through the first plate 102. In this regard, the powder material 106 may be disposed between the first plate 102 and the second plate 104 as a loose powder or partially compacted powder. In this way, the powder material 106 becomes compacted when impacted by the projectile. The work required for compaction of the powder thereby absorbs another portion of the impacting projectile\'s kinetic energy. In an embodiment, the powder material 106 may be disposed between the plates 102, 104 such that it is a loose powder. Depending on powder particle size and shape, the loose powder may be pre-compacted to have a weight that is about 30% of the weight of the solid from which the powder material 106 is made. In another embodiment, the powder material 106 may be precompacted, and may have a weight that may be about 50% of the weight of its solid form. In still other embodiments, it may be desirable for the powder material 106 to have a compacted density that creates an even higher pressure when the projectile impacts the powder; for such embodiments, the powder material 106 may be pre-compacted to a form a preform having a predetermined density, which may also facilitate packaging of the powder. For example, the powder may be precompacted to about 70% of the weight of the solid form.

The second plate 104 may be configured to absorb at least a portion of the kinetic energy remaining in a projectile with which it comes into contact. For example, in an embodiment, the second plate 104 may be made of a ceramic material. Suitable ceramic materials include, but are not limited to, alumina, aluminum nitride, aluminosilicate, boron carbide, boron nitride, silica, silicon nitride, silicon carbide, zirconia, and sand (calcia-magnesia-alumina-silicate). In an embodiment, the second plate 104 may have a thickness of between about 0.1 and about 5 cm. In another embodiment, the second plate 104 may be a laminate and may include a first layer 116 and a second layer 118. The layers 116, 118 may or may not have substantially identical thicknesses and may have thicknesses between about 0.1 and about 5 cm. At least one of the layers 116, 118 may comprise a first metallic material, while the other of the layers 116, 118 may comprise a second metallic material. In another embodiment, the second layer 118 or an additional layer may comprise may be a metallic material, such as aluminum, titanium or steel. In an embodiment, the second plate 104 may make up a wall of a device or vehicle into which the armor material 100 is being incorporated.

A fiber-composite fabric 108 (shown in phantom) may be positioned adjacent to the second plate 104 and may be separate from or adhered thereto. The fiber-composite fabric 108 may serve to catch projectiles that still have kinetic energy and thereby block the projectile from completely traveling through the armor material 100. The fiber-composite fabric 108 may be made from aramids, high molecular weight polyethylene fiber, or glass fiber. In an embodiment, the fiber-composite fabric 108 may be Spectra® fiber available through Honeywell International, Inc., Specialty Materials Group, of Morristown, N.J.

As mentioned briefly above, the powder material 106 is disposed between the first plate 102 and the second plate 104 and comprises loose powder. The powder material 106 may include at least one of a plurality of ceramic particles and a plurality of metallic particles. Thus, in some embodiments, the powder material 106 may be a mixture of ceramic particles and metallic particles. In an embodiment, the powder material 106 occupies substantially all of a volume defined between the first and the second plates 102, 104. In another embodiment, the powder material 106 may be disposed in structures that are incorporated between the first and the second plates 102, 104. FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an armor material 200 including such a structure, according to an embodiment. Here, the powder material 206 is contained in a plurality of cells 214 disposed between a first plate 202 and a second plate 204. Although shown as being disposed in all of the cells 214, a portion of the cells 214 may not include powder material 206, in other embodiments. In such case, spaces 217 may exist between the cells 214 that may not include the powder material 106 to thereby maintain portions of the powder material 206 separated from each other. In some embodiments, one or more different types of powder materials 206 may be used, and some cells 214 may be filled with a first type of material, while other cells 214 may be filled with a second type of material. The use of different types of powders may allow selected areas of the armor material 100 to compact at relatively different rates when impacted with a projectile, which may promote shear deformation (energy dissipation) to occur within a penetrating projectile.

The cells 214 may have any one of numerous configurations. In an embodiment, the cells 214 are capsules having a predetermined shape. The capsules may be made of a material capable of deforming when impacted by the projectile to allow the powder material 106 to be compacted. The capsules may be configured to plastically deform to thereby absorb at least a portion of the energy of the projectile. Suitable capsule materials include, but are not limited to glass, ceramic, plastic, aluminum, titanium, copper and steel. The predetermined shape of the capsules may be spherical, ovular, cubic, or hexagonal. In an embodiment, the capsules may have a diameter of between about 2 mm and about 50 mm. In another embodiment, the capsules may include a wall 220 having a thickness of between about 0.1 mm and about 10 mm.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of an armor material 300 including cells 314 in another configuration, and FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the material 300 shown in FIG. 3 taken along line 4-4, according to an embodiment. Here, the cells 314 may be defined by a lattice structure that is disposed between first and second plates 302, 304. The lattice structure forms a honeycomb pattern, where each cell 314 has a diameter and a volume. In an embodiment, the diameter of each cell 314 may be substantially identical to each other or may not be. In another embodiment, the cell diameters may be between about 2 mm and about 50 mm. Each cell 314 may also have a cell cross-sectional shape. Although the cell cross-sectional shape in this embodiment is shown as being hexagonal, it will be appreciated that round or any other cell cross-sectional shape may alternatively be employed.

The powder material 306 in this embodiment is disposed in at least a portion of the cells 314. In an embodiment, the powder material 306 is disposed in substantially all of the cells 314 and fills substantially an entire volume of each cell 314 occupied. In other embodiments, between about 5% and about 95% of the plurality of cells 314 is filled with the powder material 306. In another embodiment, the powder material 306 is disposed in about 50% of the plurality of cells 314, and occupies substantially an entire volume of each occupied cell 314. In any event, the occupied cells 314 may form a pattern. For example, one or more occupied cells 314 may be interposed between two or more empty cells.

The cells 314 shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 are positioned such that each has a wall 320 having a height that extends between the first and second plates 302, 304. In an embodiment, the walls 320 may have thickness of between about 0.2 mm and about 10 mm. Such positioning may allow areas of the armor material 300 to be impacted, while minimally affecting areas adjacent to the impacted areas.




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120174750 A1
Publish Date
07/12/2012
Document #
File Date
12/31/1969
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0




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Honeywell International, Inc.


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Ordnance   Shields   Shape Or Composition  

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20120712|20120174750|armor materials, body armor articles and methods of manufacture|An armor material, body armor articles, and methods of manufacturing the armor material are provided. In an embodiment, by way of example only, the armor material includes a first plate, a second plate, and a powder material. The first plate includes a layer comprising a metallic material. The second plate |Honeywell-International-Inc
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