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Cooperative Research and Innovation Projects >Call 2020 >

HiProtect: Development of a novel lightweight material composite with ballistic and self-healing protective properties

Mobile defence structures for the protection of mobile military units should be quickly erectable for different operational scenarios and guarantee reliable and durable ballistic protection under the respective operational conditions.

This primarily requires structural components that are easy to transport and practical to assemble. Consequently, a low component weight is a central basic requirement, which can primarily be achieved by using fibre-reinforced high-performance composites. In order to simultaneously ensure resistance to the highest impact stresses while reducing the component mass, effective composite material structures are required with high impact strength and a simultaneous maximum fracture toughness. A multi-phase material structure with a defined sequence of soft and hard components (including polymeric foam materials) distributes the impact energy in the best possible way through structurally acting failure mechanisms and prevents a puncture. For an additional improvement of the long-term resistance to repeated impact, the use of self-healing polymer materials in the material composite can lead to a regeneration of impact-damaged areas, so that the protective effect is also given in the case of renewed ballistic stress. Hence, the following objectives are resulting for the present research project: Creation of an effective material concept (input materials, material structure) to achieve ballistic protection and a self-healing function with optimised weight-related properties.
Production of a composite material with optimised material structure. The developed material concept is to be implemented using conventional processing methods, whereby particular attention is to be paid to economic process management for the production of high-quality composite components. As a result, a functional demonstrator is to be made available as a modular ballistic defence system.
Evaluation of the application-relevant property profile of the composite structure. This initially includes mechanical and fracture-mechanical characterisation as well as impact tests on test specimens made of hybrid composite panels, taking into account the effects of temperature and moisture. The component behaviour is tested with regard to its suitability for use as a ballistic defence system by means of special, practical impact tests on the component (laboratory tests) as well as by ballistic tests in the field.
In addition to the development of these innovative ballistic protection modules made of hybrid fibre composite materials, a deeper understanding of the underlying material structure-properties- and processing relationships can be expected. The material concept developed can thus also be transferred to other areas of application where the highest and durable damage tolerance is required in the event of impact loading.