Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

First Advisor

Bahram Nassersharif


Ever since man first walked the Earth, he faced conflict. Ways to gain an advantage over the opposition in these conflicts were always searched for. One way to help protect oneself and in turn gain an advantage was the utilization of body armor. The main issue was this armor was almost always bulky, heavy, and unbreathable. Fast forward to modern day and body armor is still in high demand but still has similar drawbacks. A great deal of law enforcement and security contractors find themselves in situations on a daily basis in which wearing armor becomes vital for protecting their lives. Often, this armor can prove to be the difference between returning home to their family or not. Many of the attacks faced by these men and women come in the form of knives or spikes.

This produced the basis for the project proposed to this team. Team 07 of the University of Rhode Island, Department of Mechanical Engineering Capstone Group was tasked with designing a body armor over the 2018 to 2019 academic year. The armor would need to be stab and slash resistant (both against a spike and a knife), lightweight, cheap to produce, and breathable. In addition to these requirements, the armor must meet the National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-0115.00 Standards. The goal was to create an armor to protect against Energy Level III.

Over the course of the fall and spring semesters, Team 07 worked together and with the team sponsor Dr. Nassersharif to move from the problem being proposed in September 2018 to a final product in May 2019. An initial design using Grade II Titanium sheets in a shingle-type layering pattern was created by December; the end of the fall semester. However, as further testing was conducted this design’s weaknesses became more apparent. The design was eventually abandoned and the team went back to testing materials. A pneumatic air cannon was utilized for the testing. Soon after, a concept design appeared to be successful. A roughly 3” x 3” prototype was created which was tested a great deal. This prototype consisted of a layering of polycarbonate plastic, a shear thickening fluid, then another layer of polycarbonate plastic. This final design would provide Protection Level III for knives and Protection Level III for spikes. With this design, the product would weigh roughly 7.05 pounds and cost roughly $140.96.

This present report encompasses the process this team took to generate their final design over this past academic year. All the steps, calculations, and specifications are included proving that the final design meets the design specifications and NIJ-0115.00 Standards proposed to Team 07.


Sponsor: Bahram Nassersharif