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Laser sintered body armour – establishing single layer stab protection

Andrew Allan Johnson (Design School, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Guy Bingham (Design School, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Candice Majewski (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 2 January 2018




The purpose of this paper is to establish the minimum thickness required to provide stab protection in accordance with the United Kingdom Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) standards while testing a series of laser sintered (LS) planar specimens using instrumented test apparatus.


Planar test specimens were LS in single-layer thicknesses ranging from 1.00 to 15.00 mm in four material powder categories – DuraForm® virgin, DuraForm 50/50 mix, DuraForm EX® virgin and DuraForm EX 50/50 mix. All specimens were tested using instrumented drop test apparatus and were impacted with established Stanley Tools 1992 trimming blades to the UK HOSDB KR1-E1 stab impact energy level.


The research demonstrated that a minimum single planar specimen thickness of 11.00 mm, manufactured from DuraForm EX 50/50 mix powder, was required to provide protection against the HOSDB KR1-E1 level of stab impact energy. The alternative powder mixes tested within this experiment demonstrated poor levels of stab protection, with virgin powder specimens demonstrating no protection up to 15.00 mm, whereas DuraForm 50/50 mix specimens demonstrating inconsistent performances.


This paper enhances on existing literature surrounding the manufacturing and testing of additive manufacturing (AM) stab-resistant armour by adding further rigour to the testing of AM body armour specimens. In addition, this research establishes key foundation characteristics which could be utilised for the future development of bespoke AM body armour garments.



Johnson, A.A., Bingham, G. and Majewski, C. (2018), "Laser sintered body armour – establishing single layer stab protection", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 130-137.



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