Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Protection of the lung from blast overpressure by stress wave decouplers, buffer plates or sandwich panels
  1. Andrew Sedman and
  2. A Hepper
  1. Platform Systems Division, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Salisbury, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew Sedman, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Platform Systems Division Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK; ajsedman{at}


Introduction This paper outlines aspects of UK Ministry of Defence’s research and development of blast overpressure protection technologies appropriate for use in body armour, with the aim of both propagating new knowledge and updating existing information.

Methods Two simple models are introduced not only to focus the description of the mechanism by which the lungs can be protected, but also to provide a bridge between fields of research that may hold the key to further advances in protection technology and related body armour.

Results Protection can be provided to the lungs by decoupling the stress wave transmission into the thorax by managing the blast energy imparted through the protection system.

Conclusions It is proposed that the utility of the existing ‘simple decoupler’ blast overpressure protection is reviewed in light of recent developments in the treatment of those sustaining both overpressure and fragment injuries. It is anticipated that further advances in protection technology may be generated by those working in other fields on the analogous technologies of ‘buffer plates’ and ‘sandwich panels’.

  • decoupler
  • buffer plate
  • sandwich panel
  • blast
  • lung
  • protection
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors The authors were involved with the original and/or subsequent work described, in either its execution or oversight.

  • Funding This paper and the UK MOD research described, as funded by UK MOD.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice Since this paper was first published online, an update has been made to the original copyright statement.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.