Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI to receive up to $4.3 million to improve armor computational analysis

For immediate release

San Antonio — Oct. 10, 2017 — Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been awarded a contract worth up to $4.3 million by the Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The award, which will support the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), will focus on improving computational capabilities for armor and penetrator technologies and for soldier survivability.

The contract is an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) award. IDIQs are contract vehicles that fund work tasks over specified periods of time. The SwRI contract award is for three years, with options to extend it up to five years.

Initial tasks include $100,000 for modeling related to human injury and $30,000 for advancing fracture modeling using EPIC (Elastic, Plastic, Impact Computations), a computational tool developed and maintained by SwRI. The Army uses EPIC to design vehicle and body armors. Dr. Dan Nicolella and Tim Holmquist, researchers in SwRI’s Mechanical Engineering Division, are leading these efforts. Work on both tasks is expected to begin in October.

“SwRI is pleased to continue our long relationship with the Army Research Laboratory,” said Dr. James Walker, director of SwRI’s Engineering Dynamics Department. “Three of our former directors were previously employed at ARL, and we have interacted with ARL on many armor and blast efforts. This contract allows the U.S. government and ARL to utilize SwRI expertise in high-rate material behavior, computational modeling, and up-to-full-scale testing to develop better equipment to increase the survivability of the warfighter.”

Walker noted that SwRI recently brought online a large two-stage light gas gun that can launch projectiles up to 7 km/s (15,600 mph). “This unique launcher has capabilities that are needed by the Army for certain development programs, and this contract may fund related work.”

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