Ballistic Efficiency of Multilayered Armor Systems with Sisal Fiber Polyester Composites

The urban violence and the different types of global armed conflicts demand efficient protective systems against high energy ammunition. Multilayered Armor Systems (MAS) provide efficient protection by making use of lighter and more efficient materials. A typical MAS may be composed of three layers: a front ceramic followed by a composite, backed by a ductile metal. Polymer composites reinforced with natural fibers have proven to be effective second layers, being also lighter, low-cost and environmentally friendly as compared to conventional composites like KevlarTM. The present work evaluates MAS using as second layer polyester composites reinforced with 10, 20, and 30 vol. % of sisal fibers. Ballistic tests were performed using class III 7.62x51 mm ammunition, based on the NIJ 0101.06 backface signature methodology. Both the 30 vol.% sisal fiber composite and the conventional aramid laminates were equally efficient in terms of MAS second layer. The explanation might be the similar capacity of the different composites to retain the fragments generated by the interaction of the projectile with the front ceramic, independently of the percentage of sisal fibers.