Scanfiber - Lightweight Armour
Scanfiber Composites specialises in the development and manufacture of lightweight armour based on advanced fibre composites. Utilising a hot pressing process, high strength fibres and a matrix are transformed into a lightweight panel, which is an excellent protection against projectiles and fragments. Depending on the required level of protection, the composite panels can be used either alone or combined with ceramics or ballistic steel to reach very high levels of protection.
At present Scanfiber can offer lightweight solutions to offer protection up to 14.5mm machine gun with armour piercing projectiles (according to NATO STANAG 4569 level 4). Scanfiber's lightweight armour is primarily used in vehicles, ships and aircraft where only minimal additional weight is allowed.
BALLISTIC PROTECTION WITH FIBRE COMPOSITES
The result of using fibre composites as armour is, in principle, a web of extremely strong and tough fibres that can brake and stop a projectile. A correctly manufactured composite panel can absorb very high impact loads and can defeat heavy pistol rounds at an aerial density (kg/m²), which is lower than reaching the same level of protection with a steel plate.
The composite panel is usually combined with a strike surface by high levels of protection. The surface is usually based on either ceramics or ballistic steel (which is extremely hard). The purpose of the strike surface is to crush or blunt the projectile, allowing it to be more efficiently defeated by the backing composite panel.
LIGHT COMPOSITE ARMOUR
The potential reduction of weight using composite armour is very dependant on the level of protection required and the type of fibre used. Often it is possible to reduce the weight of the armour down to one-third of the weight required by steel. A lower added weight can imply important advantages for a vehicle, including the following:
- Higher loading capacity
- Less tear, wear and maintenance costs
- Better driving abilities and acceleration
- Higher level of protection within the weight constraints of the vehicle
Scanfiber is ISO 9001 certified and all our products are tested according to international standards by independent testing institutes. Scanfiber manufactures composite armour based on three different types of ballistic fibres. These are fibreglass, aramide fibres (such as twaron and kevlar) and polyethylene fibres, such as dyneema and spectra.
Scanfiber designs and manufactures various types of Add-on Armour (AoA) to upgrade the level of protection in military vehicles. For vehicles already operating this is usually done in connection with a mid-life update. For new vehicles an AoA system is often part of a flexible armouring solution, where the level of protection can be alternated depending on the mission.
The easiest and most economic way of increasing crew protection in vehicles already operating is to install a spall liner on the inside of the main armour. Spall is the description for pieces of metal shot into the cabin during impact of a projectile or other warhead. Spall has high density, temperature and speed and is spread in a wide cone within the vehicle.
ARMOUR FOR MILITARY TRUCKS
Military trucks can be equipped with many different types of armouring, going from a light protection against the fragments for anti-personnel landmines, to a high level of protection against the fragments from anti-vehicle mines and armour-piercing projectiles. All types of Scanfiber composite armours can be used due to the relatively high loading capacity of these types of vehicles.
Scanfiber is constantly developing its products towards a lower weight and a higher level of protection within the weight limits given. The research and development department surveys the market for new materials and new combinations; these are systematically tested to find new lightweight armouring solutions.