AAt Belpico, we are developing fibre reinforced composites branded as TOPSPOT. New generation armour TOPSPOT is light, cheap, compact and durable. TOPSPOT is made from brittle fibre and a polymer matrix. TOPSPOT is compatible for the defence and aerospace industry, which can be used in helicopters and trains as well as ground vehicles.
Conventional armour design put a large mass between a projectile and vulnerable parts of the vehicle. In effect, this technology relies on heavy materials which do not break on impact and strong enough to stop the shell. The conservation of momentum is the primary mechanism for protection. In reality, this approach suffers from various drawbacks. Such as, boosting the level of safety increases the weight of the vehicle.
TOPSPOT disperse more energy than conventional armour designs by channelling the impact energy to micro-fragmentation. Interfaces between the fibre and a polymer matrix promote cracking at different locations. This controlled fragmentation consumes a significant sum of energy. As a result, the cumulative fracture of both matrix and fibre absorb energy that can surpass that of monolithic ductile materials. However, metals consume energy in a crash only by plastic deformation during the crumbling of the material. Deformation mechanism characteristics difference give an advantage to TOPSPOT over conventional composites per unit of weight. Ultimately, TOPSPOT absorbs more of impact energy with less weight.