Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


The Clemson family proudly embraces its school's rich military heritage and students in every department regularly demonstrate patriotism and respect for our nation's armed forces. Our multidisciplinary team of undergraduates has sought to study and improve currently used technology to give soldiers an advantage in the field. We currently have two active projects, as described below. Lightweight Cranial Protection Current standard-issue combat helmets weigh more and offer less protection than desired. Equipment weight reduction is a constant goal for the armed forces, and enhanced safety is always favored. With recent technological developments in the application of dilatants, or shear-thickening fluids (STF), it appears that a helmet's design and construction can be improved. We intend to apply several STF compositions to selected ballistic fibers using multiple impregnation methods. The resulting fibers will be tested for variations in ballistic performance. Low Altitude Parachute System currently used parachutes are designed to inflate slowly to avoid injury on opening. As a result, there is a range of heights that are too low for current parachutes to behave effectively. Using past current research and simulation software, we intend to study the various shapes and sizes of parachutes used throughout history and design a parachute system that will be effective at these low altitudes. This research could lead to the development of products that vastly increase the quality of life and safety of military, law enforcement, and rescue operations.


Poster presentation at Clemson University 10th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Forum, Clemson, SC.