"Transparent Armor" for the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the Scientists of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute

One of the winners of the XI Festival of Innovation Projects "Sikorsky Challenge 2022: Innovative Transformation of Ukraine" was the development of "Modern technology of manufacturing "transparent armor", which was presented by researchers of the scientific and technical group "Lambit" of the Faculty of Instrumentation Engineering, Department of Information and Measuring Technologies (IVT).

Development. At first glance, the technology of manufacturing bulletproof fire-resistant glass is quite simple: two or more glass blanks are "glued together" using polymerization technology. The main goal of the project is to find optimal radiation spectrum and specifically its density on the glass surface for various polymers. Polytechnicians are working together with the Sakura concern at their production facilities. A special furnace for manufacturing "transparent armor" has already been made and launched, thanks to which, the technological cycle has been improved three times, and the maturation time - almost 10 times. Tests have shown that "Transparent armor" glass withstands four shots from a Kalashnikov assault rifle from a distance of 10 meters. And this is despite the fact that the bullets hit almost next to each other. That is, a large area of glass can withstand the impact of even more bullets.

"Using our technology, you can design a furnace of any required size," - Viktor Taranov, the head of the development team, associate professor at the Department of Information and Measuring Technologies says. Currently, the team is finalizing work on the technology that will allow equipping the glass with a heating system. This is necessary in order to prevent it from fogging and freezing." The students of the IVT department work diligently under the leadership of Viktor Vasyliovych: Mykola Petrov – computerized information and measurement technologies developer, Artem Nikolaiev - Internet technologies researcher, Kyrylo Sholudko - researcher in the field of information and measuring technologies, Dmytro Melnychenko is a postgraduate student of the IVT department, a software developer of embedded and web solutions.

"Compared to the old polymerization technology, when ordinary ultraviolet lamps were used, and an ordinary pyrometer was used for product quality control," Mykola Petrov says, "in the new furnace, state-of-the-art emitters based on LEDs in the UV range and an advanced monitoring and control system were installed. This allowed not only to reduce the polymerization time, but also to preserve the quality when repeating the technological cycle. We plan to launch manufacturing multilayer glass using our technology into mass production as soon as this year."

The scientist’s path. Young researchers treat their supervisor with great respect and honor. His advice and instructions are the result of extensive personal and professional experience. And a lot of his scientific works have the mark "for the first time". "By the way," the scientist recalls about his first invention, - "I received the author's certificate being a student at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, then funds were allocated at the enterprise for implementation. That's how it all began in 1977: research, manufacturing, implementation."

In 1982, young researcher Viktor Taranov came to the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. A polychromatic emitter with the simultaneous reconstruction of 3 spectral lines of generation in one pulse was created there for the first time in the world. It was for the production of such lasers that he headed the Department of Optical Instrumentation at the Institute of Physics in 1990. Later he managed projects at the Design Bureau of Laser Engineering, the results of which were used at the enterprises of Ukrtransgaz for the laying and repair of gas pipelines. He was also responsible for the development of the first domestic laser meters for determining the height of clouds near take-off runways. Later, at the A.V. Dumansky Institute of Colloid and Water Chemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine he participated in the study of the phase transition of light and heavy water from liquid to solid state. Viktor Taranov has been a member of the International Laser Association since 1994, and a corresponding member of the International Academy of Natural Sciences since 2016.

"Academic trips to different countries and continents have convinced me," the scientist shares, - "that it is good to teach others, but you need to create your own scientific teams, bring developments to manufacturing and launch them into production." So in 2018, he returned to the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute to combine scientific work with teaching. Since then, a number of software devices for monitoring the aquatic environment have been developed with the participation of students. New sensors have been developed and manufactured to monitor the state of the Dnipro basin and its tributaries, providing information to a remote computer. The improvement of the "strong glass" technology continues. Mykola Petrov, Andrii Pyrogov, Artur Merkulov, Maksym Svyta, Dmytro Melnychenko actively participate in the work. Students from other faculties are also involved "to be taught real business".

What comes next? The scientist reflects: "Scientific activity in itself, separated from the real needs of society, was never much respected. And today, only ending the stage of scientific work with a publication does not go far enough, it is like a gift for developers from other countries who put our inventions and methods in place quite quickly". Then he continues: "Therefore, my interest today is to combine students' studies with scientific work, the result of which will be launched in production in our country and will allow us to add value to developments, support the domestic economy, and employ our graduates who will implement and improve their findings."

So, there is plenty to do for his charges. Currently, the "transparent armor" technology is being tested, that is, the process of photopolymerization in a new thermal furnace, with monitoring of the light density in the UV range and the actual temperature of the glass surface. "As soon as tomorrow, this will allow us to obtain protective glass resistant to machine gun shots and flames with a temperature of more than 900 °C," Viktor Taranov says.

As of today, experimental samples of "transparent armor" are installed on equipment used for the defense of Ukraine. The glass was also transferred to equip military helicopters and boats. In addition, it can be installed on other combat vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Nadiia Libert