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The current research studied the idea of introducing energy-absorbing polymers – specifically high-density viscoelastic polyurethanes – to reduce the blunt trauma from residual impact energy. This work investigated the material properties of viscoelastic polyurethane foams and the efficacy of the addition of an energy absorbing material to protective garments for reducing blunt trauma under low-velocity impact. The research also provided a methodology for testing composite plates backed by soft materials during low-velocity impact tests. The thickness of the backing material was proven the most influential factor in energy absorption during impact. Finally, using optimization tools, a suggested thickness and bonding condition was given for the implementation of viscoelastic foam in protective garments.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Industrial Engineering in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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