Citing increased demand for ballistics-resistant materials in combat situations, glass fiber manufacturer AGY (Aiken, S.C.) announced on Feb. 27 the addition of two new glass fibers, Featherlight and Quicksilver, to its Vehicle Armor Composite Solutions (VACS) product line. According to Drew Walker, AGY vice president of sales and marketing, “Composites have become a key component in the battle to keep military vehicles such as MRAP and HUMVEE from becoming hugely overweight.”
The new Featherlight glass fibers are engineered to deliver ultrahigh-performance against severe threat levels. The advanced Featherlight fibers provide an increase in protection of 5 to 10 percent over standard S-2 Glass fiber composite armor.
The new Quicksilver glass fibers reportedly enable significantly stronger, stiffer and lighter composite parts than traditional E-glass reinforcements and are designed to be a cost-effective solution where weight is deemed to be less of a concern.
The Featherlight and Quicksilver fibers, as well as the company’s original S-2 Glass fibers, can be used in a variety of ways in composite armor systems including:
-Compression molded laminates made from phenolic resin and woven roving. AGY’s HJ1 armor system using S-2 Glass fibers is used as a fire retardant armor solution deployed on several military vehicles.
-Thermoplastic molded laminates are made from unidirectional fibers and thermoplastic resins. These laminates, designed to be thermoformable for more complex armor shapes, have a potential to be combined with other thermoplastic fibers to provide hybridized system solutions with synergy performance in terms of structural ballistic performance.
-Hybrid laminates are made from a combination of reinforcement materials and are designed to exploit the full range of ballistic performance.
-Very thick compression molded laminates designed to stop today’s most advanced threats such as EFP.
Ballistic laminates made from novel fabric architectures - such as three-dimensional or non-crimp fabrics—which are designed to facilitate complex shapes via easy processing using infusion technology while maintaining ballistic performance.