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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Ballistic Fiber Resistance: Beyond Kevlar


Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering Division

RO# Location
50.64.21.B5948 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Beers, Kathryn L. 301.975.2113
Hudson, Steven David 301.975.6579


After the development of test methods to fully understand and quantify the degradation pathways found in polybenzoxazole fibers, polyaramids are now the preferred fiber system for ballistic applications. In an attempt to continually improve soft body armor (SBA), recent developments have shown that the incorporation of shear thickening fluids into polyaramid fibers can enhance the stab resistance of the SBA. However, very little is known about the impact of this new nanotechnology on the mechanical properties and durability of polyaramid fibers. Unique opportunities currently exist to investigate and determine how shear thickening fluids influence the mechanical performance in protective equipment applications during folding and to develop a new test methodology to quantify how the nanotechnology enhanced armor performs under ballistic impact. The research program will also center on how the molecular structure influences the susceptibility of these fibers to chemical damage. This research is interdisciplinary in its focus and the Associate should have a knowledge base that covers mechanical engineering, basic chemistry, and the chemical structure of materials.


Ballistic armor; Ballistic resistance; Degradation; Electrospinning; Fibers; Mechanical properties; Nanotechnology;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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