US 20050005762 A1
An armor for providing ballistic protection, the armor comprising a front panel that is comprised of a side-by-side arrangement of a plurality of movable pieces made of a deformable material and detachably retained into the panel in a manner that a piece is removed from the panel by any projectile impinging the piece and passing through the panel, whereby the piece becomes attached to the projectile in order to increase the size and shape of the projectile to cause the projectile to be more easily stopped by any further panel provided for stopping the projectile.
1. An ballistic panel for providing ballistic protection, the panel comprising a plurality of deformable pieces that are arranged side-by-side and detachably retained into the panel in a manner that a piece impinged by a projectile becomes attached to the projectile and removed from the panel, whereby the size and shape of the projectile is increased by the attachment of the piece in order to be more easily stopped by any further panel provided for stopping the projectile.
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15. A ballistic armored assembly for providing ballistic protection, the assembly comprising:
i. at least one ballistic panel comprising a plurality of side-by-side deformable pieces that are detachably retained into the panel in a manner that a piece impinged by a projectile is removed from the panel and attached to the projectile, whereby the size and shape of the projectile is increased by the attachment of the piece; and
ii. at least one projectile-stopping panel for stopping the projectile having said increased size and shape.
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1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to the field of armors and more particularly to a light ballistic panel and armored assembly including the panel, for absorbing energy such as temperature, sound, impact and shock energy, preferably impact energy from ballistic projectiles, the ballistic panel and assembly being capable of forming protective panels or packs for use in armoring vehicles, buildings, and the like and/or for use in manufacturing ballistic jackets for individuals, wherein the armored assembly comprises a combination of panels for absorbing the energy of projectiles and retaining the projectiles trapped into one or more microfiber made panels.
While specific reference will be made in this specification to the application of the inventive assembly in the ballistic field, this structure may be well applied to other fields where a subject or space must be isolated or protected of undesired impinging energy.
For the purpose of this description, the term projectile or bullet must be understand as one or more bullets per se as well as splinters, pieces and fragments of bombs, explosives and the like. Ballistic panel and front panel may be used indistinctly because the ballistic panel is generally used, but not necessarily, at a front side of any ballistic or armor assembly.
2. Description of the Prior Art
It is well known to provide synthetic fibers or threads like aramids for manufacturing ballistic jackets or armored panels for armoring cars, for example. The concept employed for manufacturing these armored products were based in providing combined woven materials and resin materials strong enough, and having a high resistance, to form a solid “wall” against a projectile in order to stop the projectile against the wall generally formed by a compact panel. In these armors the projectile generally impinges against the solid materials and results deformed and stopped against this wall. To stop a bullet, however, these panels must be compact and dense with a high number of layers and material thus having excessive weight that causes these armored or ballistic jackets and panels to be uncomfortable for personal use and no cost effective for use in cars.
In connection to such armor assemblies providing solid walls to stop a bullet, U.S. Pat. No. 5,824,940 to Chediak et al. discloses a bullet-proof fabric including a plurality of solid rigid ceramic pieces with the purpose of forming a barrier against a bullet, wherein the pieces are connected by high strength threads, epoxy adhesives, rivets, an the like, with the purpose of keeping the pieces forming a resistant structure to stop the bullet. Other armor systems consisting of a plurality of rigid solid pieces that are broken when attempting to stop a bullet are those disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,515,541 to Sacks et al. and 6,510,777 to Neal.
Other jackets and panels employ synthetic fibers forming a mat or a plurality of mats and webs or fabrics. These webs and fabrics are woven with threads forming warps and wefts thus leaving a lot of free spaces, interstices and voids, particularly in the weft-warp crossings and, while a plurality of layers of these webs are employed to manufacture a panel or jacket, any impinging object, particularly a bullet having a sharp tip, may pierce and run through the interstices in the multi layer pack.
Both, the solid or multi layer packs, panels or jackets, do not address the penetration problem by trying to form a kind of “spider web” to receive the projectile and retain the same into the web. The several ballistic packs neither took advantage of the rotation that a projectile is provided of when shoot from a corresponding weapon. This rotation could be used for facilitating the trapping of the bullet into the pack.
This rotation effect has been taken into account by the applicant of the present invention and disclosed in his U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/265,851 relating to a process and apparatus for manufacturing a microfiber structure for absorbing impact energy, sound energy and/or temperature, the structure being preferably used in the ballistic field, wherein the method comprises providing a plurality of threads consisting of microfibers, subjecting the threads to a pressurized air jet to open the threads by separating the microfibers into each thread, and entangling the threads to form a mass of loosely-entangled microfibers, with the mass being confined into a pack which may be appropriately compacted for absorbing impact energy, preferably from a bullet or projectile provided with rotating movement. This structure is formed into a fiber-entangled structure, with the fibers forming preferably curls or loops, thus taking advantage of the rotation of the bullet to cause the bullet be wrapped by the fibers or curls when penetrating the structure. When wrapped by the fibers the bullet increases its mass and size and hence it is prevented from passing through the structure.
The inventor has developed an improved armored assembly comprising a front panel that includes a plurality of side-by-side arranged ring members capable of being penetrated by a bullet and trapped around the bullet in order to increase the size and enlarge the shape of the bullet which, after passing through the front panel, is easily stopped in a further adjacent trapping panel formed by an entangled mass of fibers.
While the above structures disclosed in the U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 10/265,851 and 10/361,415 have shown to work efficiently in trapping a bullet or any other kind of projectile, the inventor has found that such structures can be improved by providing a front panel that improves and enhances the effect of increasing the size and the shape of the impinging projectile in order to be more easily trapped in a trapping panel.
It is therefore one object of the present invention to provide an armored structure comprising the combination of a plurality of panels wherein the panels comprise a plurality of entangled-fibers panels working like the ones disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/265,851, to the same applicant, and at least one front panel comprising ring members capable of being partially penetrated by any impinging projectile in a manner that the projectile enters at least one of the ring members and the ring member or members penetrated by the bullet remain affixed to the bullet thus increasing the mass and size of the bullet or projectile for improving the wrapping effect of the fibers around the projectile.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a ballistic armor comprising a plurality of sandwiched panels, with a front panel defining an outside surface for receiving the impact of projectiles, the front panel including a plurality of side-by-side arranged ring members, and at least one projectile-trapping panel including a mass of loosely-entangled microfibers, the panels being attached to each other to form a ballistic resistant pack for use in the protection of vehicles, buildings and/or for manufacturing ballistic jackets.
It is even another object of the present invention to provide a ballistic armored assembly for providing protection against ballistic projectiles having an outer maximum dimension, the assembly comprising:
It is even another object of the present invention to provide a ballistic panel for providing ballistic protection, the panel comprising a plurality of deformable pieces that are arranged side-by-side and detachably retained into the panel in a manner that a piece impinged by a projectile becomes attached to the projectile and removed from the panel, whereby the size and shape of the projectile is increased by the attachment of the piece in order to be more easily stopped by any further panel provided for stopping the projectile, with the panel comprising one or more layers of the following layers:
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a ballistic armored assembly for providing ballistic protection, the assembly comprising:
The present invention is illustrated by way of example in the following drawings wherein:
Now referring in detail to the drawings it may be seen from
Preferably, as shown in cross-section in
Preferably, all the panels are attached to each other forming a pack and the attachment may be carried out by any convenient means such as adhesives, sewing, etc. These attached panels form a ballistic armor assembly for providing protection against ballistic projectiles wherein the projectile may be a bullet or any fragment from explosives. In any event, the projectile will have an outer maximum dimension and, if it is a bullet, a tip with a minimum dimension.
According to a preferred embodiment, the inventive ballistic panel, preferably employed as a front panel, comprises a plurality of deformable pieces that are arranged in at least one plane, preferably side-by-side, and detachably retained into the panel in a manner that a piece impinged by a projectile becomes attached to the projectile and removed from the panel, whereby the size and shape of the bullet or projectile is increased by the attachment of the piece in order to be more easily stopped by any further panel provided for stopping the projectile. More specifically, the pieces of the ballistic or front panel comprise a plurality of side-by-side arranged ring members 7, shown in generic views in
According to several embodiments of the invention, the front panels may have their ring members arranged in different convenient manners. For example, ring members may be lock washers, tooth washers, spring washers, rings, spring threads and mixtures thereof. Ring members may be also made of any convenient material such as synthetic material, plastics, composites, resins, metals, etc.
Ring members may be loosely arranged side-by-side in at least one plane or in more than one plane and the ring members may be also interconnected to each other. In this event, the connection should be strong enough to keep the ring members arranged as desired during use but the connection must be capable of being broken upon the impact and penetration of an impinging projectile into a ring member. Thus, if a projectile penetrates a ring member this ring member will be detached from the adjacent ring members and will be carried onto the projectile without altering the remaining structure of the front panel and the assembly. This concept is valid for any of the inventive removable pieces, preferably deformable pieces that are part of the inventive panel and assembly.
As shown in
The arrangement of
The aim of the arrangements of
According to another alternative embodiment of the invention, the pieces of the invention, such as the illustrated rings, may be embedded into a support plate made of any plastic or polymeric material, EVA, for example, indicated by reference 14 in
As to the projectile-trapping panels 5, the same may be manufactured under the teachings of U.S. Ser. No. 10/265,851 and may comprise a mass of loosely-entangled microfibers 15,
The fibers, microfibers or threads are treated for maintaining the longitudinal continuity of the fibers into each thread, that is, the fibers of a thread are spaced apart or separated by employing the method of U.S. Ser. No. 10/265,851, thus maintaining such fibers continuous into the thread in order to guarantee the thread continuity, resistance and strength, particularly the tensile strength. The fibers are entangled all together to form a mass comprising loosely-entangled fibers.
The term “entangling” must be understood in this specification as a generic term including the actions of carding, entangling, wrinkling, rumpling, disheveling, etc. which action has the purpose of arranging the threads and fibers aleatory and, even loosely, accommodated into a formless, shapeless, amorphous, body or mass, with the threads and fibers being arranged for preventing any free direct passage being formed through the body, mass or structure. The threads and fibers are most preferably carded and entangled in a manner to form loops, curls, or ringlets. As will be explained in connection to
For the purposes of the present description, the term “microfiber” must be understood as encircling all kind of fibers, filaments, threads and the like. The prefix “micro” does not refer to the fiber as being very short or short but is rather employed to refer to thinness of the fibers.
Projectile-trapping panel 5 may be formed into a pack by providing a determined amount of mass of entangled fibers and wrapping the same with an outer cover 16,
Alternatively, also to form the projectile-trapping panel, the entangled fibers may be wrapped around a core support to form a panel 17 as exemplary shown in
As it is clearly depicted in
As the bullet continues moving ahead and rotating, more fibers wrap around the bullet/ring thus increasing the bullet size, volume, shape and mass, therefore trapping, stopping and retaining the bullet wrapped in the fibers mass of panel 17 and stopped therein. The bullet and the fibers wrapped around it may form a swelling or bump 21 not transmitted through end panel 6. As may be seen, the bullet energy is entirely absorbed and not transmitted to rear side 3 of the assembly, thus preserving the life of the user of a ballistic jacket and preventing the user from any trauma. As the several tests have shown, the bullet is finally deformed into the entangled mass of fibers and the fibers have found embedded in the bullet metal.
According to the invention front panel or ballistic panel 4 may comprise a plurality of any kind of pieces, preferably deformable pieces, that are arranged side-by-side and detachably retained into the panel, in one or more layers or planes, in a manner that a piece impinged by a projectile becomes attached to the projectile and removed from the panel, with such pieces comprising pieces of metal, fabric sheets, compacted and dense ballistic units formed by fibers, and the like. In any case the pieces should be removed from the ballistic panel to be attached to the bullet in order to increase the size, volume and shape of the projectile whereby the projectile with the piece or pieces attached thereto is more easily stopped by any further panel provided for stopping the projectile, such as one or more panels 5.
According to the embodiment shown in
As it is shown in
According to even another embodiment of the invention, the ballistic panel, indicated by number reference 26 in
The ballistic panel of the invention may be combined into any desired assembly pattern with other panels, such as fiber-made panels, etc. with the embodiments shown in
Preferably, the panels according to the invention form a pack with the panels attached to each other, with least one impact cushioning panel made of EVA being provided at the rear side.
Another alternative assembly illustrated in
While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.