2017 Volume 55 Issue 6 Pages 513-520
The purpose of this research was to enhance the stab resistance of protective clothing material by developing a new high-density nonwoven structure. Ice picks often injure Japanese police officers due to the strict regulation of swords in the country. Consequently, this study was designed to improve stab resistance against ice picks. Most existing anti-stab protective clothing research has focused on various fabrics impregnated with resin, an approach that brings with it problems of high cost and complicated processing. Seldom has research addressed the potential for improving stab resistance by using nonwoven structures, which exhibit better stab resistance than fabric. In this research, we prepared a series of nonwoven structures with densities ranging from about 0.14 g/cm3 to 0.46 g/cm3 by varying the number of stacked layers of Kevlar/polyester nonwoven under a hot press. We then proposed two methods for producing such hot-press nonwovens: the multilayer hot-press method and the monolayer hot-press method. Stab resistance was evaluated according to NIJ Standard-0115.00. We also investigated the relationship among nonwoven density, stab resistance, and flexural rigidity, and here we discuss the respective properties of the two proposed methods. Our results show that stab resistance and flexural rigidity increase with nonwoven density, but flexural rigidity of nonwovens prepared using the monolayer hot-press method only shows a slight change as nonwoven density increases. Though the two methods exhibit little difference in maximum load, the flexural rigidity of nonwovens prepared using the monolayer hot-press method is much lower, which contributes to superior wear comfort. Finally, we investigated the mechanism behind the stabbing process. Stabbing with an ice pick is a complicated process that involves many factors. Our findings indicate that nonwovens stop penetration primarily in two ways: nonwoven deformation and fiber fractures.