Honeywell's Ballistic Material to Help Protect Australian Troops in Combat

  • 12:00 AM, September 18, 2008
  • 4705
Honeywell announced today its Spectra Shield II ballistic material will be a key component in a new body armor system for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Honeywell's latest shield technology will be used in protective hard body armor plates as part of the new Modular Combat Body Armour System (MCBAS). Manufactured by Australian Defence Apparel (ADA), the modular system provides protection for the neck, chest, upper and lower arm, groin and buttock, and upper and lower leg. "Through our partnership with ADA, we are enabling troops to wear ballistics protection specifically designed to provide superior stopping capability in tough combat situations worldwide," said Joe Gelo, business director for Honeywell's Advanced Fibers and Composites business. "Honeywell ballistic technology is already helping to protect U.S. and NATO forces and we are pleased to add the ADF to that growing list". Honeywell launched Spectra Shield II last year as a new line of Spectra® fiber-based materials with improved ballistic stopping capability for body and vehicle armor. Spectra Shield II has demonstrated up to 20 percent greater ballistic performance than Honeywell's standard Spectra Shield product line, which already uses one of the strongest man-made fibers in commercial use today. Pound for pound, Spectra fiber is 15 times stronger than steel yet light enough to float. Spectra Shield II incorporates Honeywell's newest and improved fiber, Spectra S3000, which was developed specifically to help armor manufacturers and the military counter new ballistic threats. Honeywell's patented Spectra Shield and Spectra Shield II materials are used in advanced armor systems for a wide a range of ballistic protection and security applications -- from bullet-resistant vests, breastplates, and helmets to combat vehicles and military aircraft -- where lightweight solutions and durability are critical. Honeywell Spectra Shield products are manufactured by bonding parallel strands of fiber in place with an advanced resin system. In addition to Spectra fiber, Honeywell adapts this technology to other fibers, including aramid. Spectra fiber is made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. The fiber exhibits high resistance to chemicals, water, and ultraviolet light. It has excellent vibration damping, flex fatigue and internal fiber-friction characteristics. It also has up to 60 percent greater specific strength than aramid fiber. In addition to armor, Spectra fiber also can be used for high-performance marine applications such as lifting and mooring lines, industrial slings and security netting, as well as for novel curtains used to protect windows and doors during hurricanes. Honeywell maintains an active Spectra fiber and ballistic material research and development program aimed to meet increased demand for its high performance armor materials. Honeywell Specialty Materials, based in Morristown, N.J., is a $4.9 billion, global leader in providing customers with high-performance specialty materials, including fluorine products; specialty films and additives; advanced fibers and composites; intermediates; specialty chemicals; electronic materials and chemicals; and technologies and materials for petroleum refining. Honeywell International is a $38 billion diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials.