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Safety net: Lightweight RPG solution based on nets

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Cheryl Gomes worked on QinietQ North America’s ground-breaking defense project, Q-Net™, which was rolled out in 2010. In conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the team developed the lightweight rocket-propelled grenade solution (RPG) based on nets rather than traditional armor.

Based on her history and experience in working on accelerated aging of fibers, Gomes helped develop the test plan to determine how long the material would last in the field.

The lightweight net fibrous material can be installed on a wide range of tactical and lightly armored vehicles, and because it is 50 to 60 percent lighter than metallic armor systems, it saves fuel and reduces the likelihood of vehicle roll-over and wear and tear from excessive weight.

Q-Net won DuPont Protection Technologies’ 2012 Innovation Award (Innovation Category), which showcases ideas, methods, technologies, applications, products and services using DuPont™ Kevlar® in a new way.

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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