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Mentored Engineering Research

Dynamic Body Armor Testing

Dr. Stephen Schultz

Fiber composite materials are valuable for their lightweight and high-strength capabilities. For this reason, they are being used in the construction of automobiles, bridges, and cargo vessels. However, shock, impact, or stress may cause internal damage to the materials that lead to significant reductions in component lifetime and result in disastrous failures. Fiber Bragg gratings (FBG) sensors react to environmental changes such as strain, which allow strain variations to be detected when the composite structure is subjected to impact events. A high-speed full-spectrum interrogation system is capable of recording detailed strain measurements of composite structures enabling better characterization of their failure modes.