Mechanics of Shear Thickening Fluid (STF) and STF Impregnated Fabrics
Shear-thickening fluid (STF) infused fabrics have gained recent attention due to their enhanced protective performance over neat fabrics. Empirical testing has demonstrated that STF-infused fabrics greatly outperform neat fabrics against tow pull-out, spike, stab, and low velocity projectile threats. This enhancement in impact resistance is accredited to the infusion of a discontinuous STF. At low shear rates, the STF experiences a shear-thinning regime; above a critical shear rate, the STF experiences a dramatic, reversible increase in viscosity characteristic of the "post-transition" regime. Current research at the CCM is aimed at investigating the effect of STF infusion on the high strain rate behavior of a STF-fabric composite. Identification of the altered energy absorption mechanisms of an STF-fabric composite will yield information necessary for the optimization of this novel composite material.