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Testing of Body Armor Materials: Phase III (2012)

Chapter: Appendix K Phase I Findings

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix K Phase I Findings." National Research Council. 2012. Testing of Body Armor Materials: Phase III. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13390.
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Appendix K

Phase I Findings

This appendix contains the Phase I study findings. Phase I resulted in four findings that were submitted to the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation in the Phase I letter report (NRC, 2009):

Finding 1. The procedure documented in “Internal Operating Procedure No. 001: Measurement of Backface Deformation [BFD] Using Faro® Quantum Laser Scan Arm and Geomagic® Qualify® for Hard and Soft Body Armor” (Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Aberdeen Test Center, September 1, 2009) adequately describes the appropriate use of the laser scanning system.

Finding 2. Surface profilometry by a laser scanning system (including the testing protocols, facilities, and instrumentation) as currently implemented by the Army (or similar equipment), if used in accordance with the Army’s procedures, is a valid approach for determining the contours of an indent in a nontransparent clay material at a level of precision adequate for the Army’s current ballistic testing of body armor.

Finding 3. The digital caliper is adequate for measurements of displacements created in clay by the column-drop performance test: there is a well-defined reference plane, and one can visually see the surface of the clay, given that the depression is relatively shallow (approximately 22 to 28 mm) and fairly smooth.

Finding 4. The column-drop performance test (including the testing protocols, facilities, and instrumentation) is a valid method for assessing the part-to-part consistency of clay boxes used in body armor testing.

REFERENCE

NRC (National Research Council). 2009. Phase I Report on Review of the Testing of Body Armor Materials for Use by the U.S. Army: Letter Report. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix K Phase I Findings." National Research Council. 2012. Testing of Body Armor Materials: Phase III. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13390.
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In 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the report Warfighter Support: Independent Expert Assessment of Army Body Armor Test Results and Procedures Needed Before Fielding, which commented on the conduct of the test procedures governing acceptance of body armor vest-plate inserts worn by military service members. This GAO report, as well as other observations, led the Department of Defense Director, Operational Test & Evaluation, to request that the National Research Council (NRC) Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences conduct a three-phase study to investigate issues related to the testing of body armor materials for use by the U.S. Army and other military departments. Phase I and II resulted in two NRC letter reports: one in 2009 and one in 2010. This report is Phase III in the study.

Testing of Body Armor Materials: Phase III provides a roadmap to reduce the variability of clay processes and shows how to migrate from clay to future solutions, as well as considers the use of statistics to permit a more scientific determination of sample sizes to be used in body armor testing. This report also develops ideas for revising or replacing the Prather study methodology, as well as reviews comments on methodologies and technical approaches to military helmet testing. Testing of Body Armor Materials: Phase III also considers the possibility of combining various national body armor testing standards.

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