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Development of a Test Methodology to Evaluate Mine Protective Footwear

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Conference paper

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There are an estimated 110 million landmines in place around the world, and there are further threats to military personnel in combat situations. Individuals involved in antipersonnel demining efforts face a large threat of traumatic injury especially to their lower extremities. Landmine injuries may be very severe, often resulting in amputation or death, but protective equipment worn during these missions must be a balance between safety and mobility. However, there is no current objective test methodology to evaluate the effectiveness of protective footwear against antipersonnel landmines. One of the two main goals of this study was to develop an injury risk function for assessing the risk of mine injuries using mechanical force data and to use this risk function to develop a test methodology for assessing boot performance using a dummy surrogate limb. A second equally important goal was to evaluate commercial, state of the art lower extremity AP mine protective footwear for use in mine clearance in current operations. In this study, a total of 42 surrogate landmine tests were conducted at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Testing Center with both cadaveric lower extremities 20 tests and a mechanical dummy lower extremity 22 tests. The simulated mine charges used in this test series were made from C-4 explosive packed into standardized plastic containers. The mines used in this study varied in size from 50 grams to 200 grams of C-4. This variation in charge size allowed the investigation of a large range of possible mine threats. The mines were placed directly under the heel for the mechanical limb and under the calcaneus of the cadaveric limbs. Previous tests Leap- 1999 have shown that this position may represent a worst-case scenario for explosive shock loading to the tibia.

Subject Categories:

  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Protective Equipment
  • Land Mine Warfare

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