Honeywell Provide Ballistic Materials to US Army

27 June 2011

Honeywell has signed a three year contract with the US Army to supply Spectra Shield and Gold Shield materials, designed to improve performance and reduce helmet weight by up to 24 percent.

Honeywell’s goal is to reduce the weight of the Army’s current helmet design by 16 to 24 percent, and also help to improve both the ballistic and non ballistic performance of helmets beyond what is currently available today.

“Honeywell is proud that the Army has selected our materials to support their important goal of improving soldiers’ helmets,” said James Thagard, global marketing manager for Honeywell’s Advanced Fibres and Composites business. “Our materials are already used in helmets, body armour and vehicle armour that protect soldiers in combat situations. This new program will provide soldiers with the latest cutting-edge technologies that offer even better performance.”

The contract was awarded to Honeywell by the Army’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, a government organization responsible for the development, procurement, and fielding of equipment for U.S. Army soldiers.

According to Honeywell, a key objective for the US military is reducing the weight of soldiers’ body armour, which in total can weigh up to 35 pounds. By lightening the load, soldiers will have greater mobility in dangerous situations.

Honeywell explain that their Spectra Shield products are manufactured by bonding parallel strands of fibre in place with an advanced resin system. They make their Spectra fibre with ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. The fibre is designed to exhibit high resistance to chemicals, water, and ultraviolet light, and to have good vibration damping, flex fatigue and internal fibre-friction characteristics. Honeywell say it has up to 60 percent greater specific strength than aramid fibre.

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