New fabrics will better protect Defence personnel from Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), an extreme threat during any operation.
Reducing injuries to combat troops
Researchers from the Centre for Materials Innovation and Future Fashion (CMIFF) have co-developed high-strength protective woven fabrics that mitigate and significantly reduce lower-limb injuries caused by IEDs.
“These fabrics provided optimal protection whilst still fulfilling the military requirements for camouflage, comfort, and fitness-for-purpose,” says Professor Rajiv Padhye, CMIFF director.
Some of the fabrics increased V-50 protective levels by as much as 40 per cent – a massive upscale in armour’s breaking point. The fabrics also shield against multiple impacts from high-speed flying debris below the level covered by standard combat ballistic vests.
The fabrics provide a greatly-enhanced level of protection against multiple impacts from high-speed flying debris.
“Of particular concern were the problems of protecting the femoral arteries and genitalia by reducing the depth of impact penetration, reducing the level of bleeding, and reducing wound contamination.”
Multiple layers of these fabrics were assembled into re-designed trousers to significantly improve soldiers’ body protection below the level covered by standard combat ballistic vests.
Due to the changing theatres of conflict, two ranges of fabric weight were developed: one set for tropical climates and one set for cooler climates. These different scenarios required different design criteria, particularly related to comfort in humid environments.
Several fabric designs have now progressed to military wearer trials with a view to introducing them into standard issue.
The work forms part of a Defence Materials Technology Centre program, involving CSIRO, RMIT, Defence Science Technology Group, Bruck Textiles Pty Ltd, Australian Defence Apparel Pty Ltd, Ventou Garments Pty Ltd and Ballistic Material Testing Pty Ltd.