Topologically Controlled Composite Materials with High Energy Absorption Capability


Executive Summary


Composite materials are a well-established technology in applications requiring high-performance such as sports, aerospace, or defense. However, conventional fiber reinforced composites are prone to severe delamination, cracking, and fiber breakage upon projectile impact. This lack of toughness is a critical limitation on the possible uses of the composite. MSU researchers have developed a new composite material based on small angle lamination (~15 degrees) with macroscopic curvature to give an increase in fiber bridging and increased toughness. 


Description of Technology


The technology is a composite structure comprising multiple layers where some of the layers are oriented between 5 and 15o from the first and a portion of has a curved shape when cured, whereby an additional skin layer is also attached to the curved shape. This leads to increased fiber bridging and improved toughness of the composite structure.



  • Usability: Due to its superior impact resistance this material can be utilized for many applications for which commercially available composites cannot be used. 
  • Versatility: The light, tough composite material can be formed into curved and thin shapes greatly enhancing possible uses.
  • Composite structure doubles energy absorption capability
  • Improved impact resistance from projectiles




  • Armored ground vehicles, equipment
  • Armor for ballistics applications, protective gear
  • Aircraft and marine
  • Sporting goods


Patent Status

Granted US patent 7,807,258



Dr. Dahsin Liu, Peter Schulz


Tech ID 



Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University