Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

First Advisor

Bahram Nassersharif


Tasked with the development of a composite material profile for use in the application of body armor design, the team worked with with Desmark/Amerisewn to create a stab and slash resistant composite material. This report investigates the design, development, and analysis of such composite material, and details the accomplishments made by the team throughout the entire design process. The objective was to meet and adhere to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 0115.00 Standards, specifically the specifications described for a Protection Level III apparatus. Thinking beyond this scope, the initiative is to provide a more lightweight, flexible, reliable, and modular solution to threats encountered by law enforcement officials in regards to slash and stab attacks, with a primary concern being those implemented by a knife or spike-like object. Corresponding manufacturing and experimentation procedures are included for analyzing the implicit dynamic penetration resistance and associated mechanical behaviors of the configured composite material. Through this analysis, a numerical method pertaining to the design and prediction of a multi-laminate composite material’s mechanical behavior, given an impact due to a weapon/implement mentioned above, aided in a final solution that adheres to both the items described within the NIJ 0115.00 Standard as well as design specifications corresponding to the product. Proposed to adhere to these requirements, the team developed a composite material that applies a multi-laminate design to create the desired product characteristics. The carbon fiber epoxy resin solution has an overall profile thickness of 0.495 inches and an estimate total weight of approximately 2.38 lb. A manufacturing method for producing such composite material is also explained in this report.

Further analysis and testing of the was conducted through means of numerical analysis. A composite program developed by the team using MATLAB was used to calculate the mechanical characteristics of the composite using data inputs collected by experimental methods. The program will then assess the respective stress and strain relations through the entire composite profile. This gave insight to where the material will fail and under what load, and is a useful tool in determining the failure conditions, as well as identifying materials that do not contribute to the overall integrity of the composite.

Several methods of experimentation, both physically and numerically, were conducted in order to validate the performance and adherence to design specifications. Ultimately, the carbon fiber/epoxy composite material adheres to National Institute of Justice’s 0115.00 Protection Level III Standard the most effectively and efficiently, minimizing the depth of puncture to less than 1/4" and 3/4" past the backing material due to a force applied at the strike face of 43.0J and 65.0J respectively.


Sponsor: Deskmark Industries/Amerisewn