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Comparison of the In-plane Shear Behavior of UHMWPE Fiber and Highly Oriented Film Composites



Highly oriented solid state extruded polyethylene (SSE-PE) film composites, an emerging form of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), are a promising candidate material to enhance the ballistic performance of lightweight protective systems. It is hypothesized that the in-plane shear modulus for SSE-PE film laminates is an order of magnitude larger than for gel-spun polyethylene fiberbased systems. This is significant in that the in-plane behavior of UHMWPE composite laminates is widely known to affect ballistic performance. The focus of this work is to experimentally measure the laminate in-plane shear behavior of a commercially available UHMWPE fiber-based system (Spectra Shield® SR3136) and a film system (Tensylon® 30A) using tensile tests of specimens with a [±45°] layup. The results are used to draw conclusions of the difference of in-plane response between the fiber-based and film polyethylene material systems.

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