Nanofiber Functionalized 3D S-Glass Reinforced Transparent Ballistic Composite
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-073
Topic Title: Nanofiber Functionalized 3D S-Glass Reinforced Transparent Ballistic Composite
Proposal No.: N131-073-0542
Firm: Luna Innovations Incorporated
1 Riverside Circle
Suite 400
Roanoke, Virginia 24016-4962
Contact: Robert Jeffers
Phone: (434) 220-7685
Web Site:
Abstract: Transparent armor usually ranks among the heaviest of all materials on tactical vehicles per size and weighs significantly more than opaque armor at the same protection level. This is due to the large thicknesses required to provide the required ballistic protection. For this reason, transparent armor is one of the first places engineers look to reduce overall weight, leading to the reduction in size of transparent armor windows, significantly restricting the field of view afforded to military personnel making them more vulnerable to outside threats. Novel material solutions are required to reduce the weight and thickness relative to current transparent armor. To this end, Luna Incorporated proposes a transparent three dimensional woven S-glass fiber reinforced polyurethane composite armor material. The S-glass fibers will be specially coated with a nanofiber functionalized sol-gel interface layer to provide enhanced fiber matrix interaction. The sol-gel layer will also be formulated with a tuned refractive index and coefficient of thermal expansion to maintain optical clarity during temperature changes. The resulting transparent armor material will be lightweight and environmentally stable allowing for enhanced multi-hit ballistic performance.
Benefits: At the conclusion of the Phase I, Luna demonstrate a lightweight and environmentally stable prototype 3D fiber reinforced polyurethane transparent armor material with enhanced ballistic properties. The resulting material will not only find application as a replacement for current polycarbonate (PC) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) monolithic transparent armor, but in any transparent armor system that uses some layer of polymeric material. The proposed material system will reduce weight or increase performance anywhere polymeric materials are used for ballistic protection, increasing the survivability of the user in every situation. Applications include lenses, goggles, and face shields for soldiers, law enforcement, and medical personnel; ballistic shields for explosive ordnance disposal personnel; windows and windshields for vehicles; and canopies for aircraft and helicopters.