This report investigates the use of basalt fibers in a composite along with SC-15 epoxy resin for ballistic protection.
Basalt fibers are not known as a ballistic material but rather as a structural one. Even though basalt fibers are not expected to outperform some of the higher ballistic performing materials such as the aramid and polyethylene fibers; however, due to the lower manufacturing costs, basalt fibers are an interesting alternative.
The objective of this project was to gain a basic understanding of the properties of basalt fibers and their potential use for certain military applications. Therefore, some of the basic mechanical tests were used as a tool to compare properties to an S-2 glass epoxy system. The same was true for the ballistic tests that were performed.
The basic mechanical tests used for comparative studies were flexural, tensile, and shortbeam shear strength. The basalt epoxy composites compared well with S-2 properties. Fragment tests were also investigated for two areal densities, 1-psf and 5-psf systems, using a 17- and 44-gn fragment simulating projectile (FSP), respectively. Again, the basalt epoxy performed well for these tests as compared to an S-2 similar system.
David M. Spagnuolo, Eugene Napadensky, Tomoko Sano, and James P. Wolbert
Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, Army Research Laboratory, U.S.