in Defence / Security

Morgan Advanced Materials demos bomb disposal suit

Posted 4 January 2017 · Add Comment

Morgan Advanced Materials has released a new video which shows the performance of its Silverback 4020 Elite bomb disposal suit against four life impacting aspects of blast; flame immersion, high velocity fragment impact, blast pressure wave and 'tertiary' effects; across four different blast tests.

Critical to survivability, the tests illustrate the importance Morgan places on reducing the impact of blast pressure waves, which alongside flame and fragments, have devastating impact on internal organs without adequate protection. The testing was conducted at the independently certified OTS testing facility at Faldingworth (UK) and utilised a range of testing best practice, including key aspects of the NIJ 0117.00 Public Safety Bomb Suit Standard, in addition to other blast analysis including the Bowen Survivability Curve and overpressure reduction. 

The first blast test shown on the video demonstrates the suit’s survivability when kneeling, measured against the NIJ 0117.00 Public Safety Bomb Suit Standard for an explosive of 0.567kg C4 threat at 0.6m. The recorded footage reveals that the suit provides a pressure reduction between 96.9% and 99.7%, achieving a position on the Bowen Curve showing more than 99% survivability probability (in a controlled test environment). Three further blast tests assess the suit’s survivability when standing, facing a 1kg (2.20 lbs) C4 threat at 1m, a 2kg (4.41 lbs) C4 threat at 2m, and a 10kg (22.05 lbs) C4 threat at 3m. All three tests returned a position on the Bowen Curve stating a survivability probability greater than 99% (in a controlled test environment), with a pressure reduction between 98.1% and 98.5% for 1kg and 10kg blasts.

In addition to ensuring the highest levels of survivability, the Silverback 4020 Elite is designed for enhanced manoeuvrability, providing the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operator with the flexibility they require for operating in a restrictive environment. The business conducts its own manoeuvrability tests, testing flexibility to crouch, climb and crawl, furthermore the suit utilises a powerful demisting system embedded in the helmet for improved situational awareness. Advanced cooling systems, which incorporate a flame ingress brake mechanism are embedded into the suit enhance comfort and reduce operator fatigue.  An innovative quick release system, allowing the user to evacuate the suit unaided in less than 25 seconds in the event of an emergency situation, is designed into the suit’s jacket and trousers.

Chris Davies, Technology Director at Morgan Advanced Materials’ Composites and Defence Business, commented: "We are delighted with the survivability performance of the Silverback 4020 Elite, reducing the impact of blast pressure waves has been a key focus throughout the design of the product, along with protection against flame and fragments. The suit’s high performance levels have been achieved through years of blast materials research and development, combined with leading garment engineering to create a truly world class highly flexible bomb disposal suit."


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