The number of shark attacks resulting in fatalities and severe injuries has increased steadily over recent years. This is mainly attributed to a growing population participating in ocean sports such as swimming, diving, and surfing. To mitigate the severity of shark attacks, the current study presents a novel fibre-reinforced composite for bite protection. This material is intended for integration into neoprene wetsuits, e.g., in the form of protective pads. A suitable material must be able to withstand significant bite forces, which are concentrated within a small contact area at the tips of the shark teeth. At the same time, the material should not hinder the complex motion sequences of aquatic sports. To this end, a novel fibre-reinforced composite was created by integrating Kevlar fibres into an elastic matrix. Uni-axial testing using shark teeth replicas was conducted on a specially designed test rig to quantify the effectiveness of the novel protective material.
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