Findings and recommendations pertaining to these areas and research challenges appear in Chapters 3 through 5. The single overarching recommendation is repeated here in the summary, along with the four key recommendations in the main text.
The conclusion of this study is that the ability to design and optimize protection material systems can be accelerated and made more cost effective by operating in a new paradigm of lightweight protection material development (Figure S-1). In this new paradigm, the current armor system design practice, which relies heavily on a design-make-shoot iterative process, is replaced by rapid iterations of modeling and simulation, with ballistic evaluation used selectively to verify satisfactory designs. Strong coupling with the materials research and development community is accomplished through canonical models that translate armor system requirements (often data with restricted access) into characterizations, microstructures, behaviors, and deformation mechanisms that an open research community can use in designing new lightweight protection materials. The principal objective of this new paradigm is to enable the design of superior protection materials and to accelerate their implementation in armor systems. This new paradigm will build upon the multidisciplinary collaboration concepts and lessons from other applications documented in the report Integrated Computational Materials Engineering.2 It can be focused on the most promising opportunities in lightweight protection materials, bringing such current products as ceramic plates and polymer fiber materials well beyond their
2NRC. 2008. Integrated Computational Systems Engineering: A Transformational Discipline for Improved Competitiveness and National Security. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.