Scientists develop lighter weight body armor to protect U.S. soldiers

How can body armor for U.S. soldiers be made lighter, yet still provide effective protection? For the answer, the U.S. Army turned to Yogendra Gupta, director of WSU’s Institute for Shock Physics.

The WSU shock physics effort has a more than 55-year history of research innovation. Professor Gupta’s research explores the dynamic response of materials subjected to extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, and at very short time scales. Research at the Institute is often carried out in partnership with scientists at U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) and Department of Defense laboratories.

For the U.S. Army Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, Professor Gupta and colleagues examined concepts that have the potential to develop lighter weight body armor. They conducted research to understand the materials phenomena that govern the response of body armor under ballistic loading conditions. The ability to lighten body armor would be a significant achievement to protect the men and women who serve our country.