CUED Publications database

Mechanisms of projectile penetration in Dyneema® encapsulated aluminum structures

O'Masta, MR and Deshpande, VS and Wadley, HNG (2014) Mechanisms of projectile penetration in Dyneema® encapsulated aluminum structures. International Journal of Impact Engineering. ISSN 0734-743X

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Polymer composites comprising ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHWMPE) fibers in a compliant matrix are now widely used in ballistic applications with varying levels of success. This is primarily due to a poor understanding of the mechanics of penetration of these composites in ballistic protection systems. In this study, we report experimental observations of the penetration mechanisms in four model systems impacted by a 12.7 mm diameter spherical steel projectile. The four model targets designed to highlight different penetration mechanisms in Dyneema® UHWMPE composites were: (i) a bare aluminum plate; (ii) the same plate fully encased in a 5.9 mm thick casing of Dyneema®; (iii) the fully encased plate with a portion of the Dyneema® removed from the front face so that the projectile impacts directly the Al plate; and (iv) the fully encased plate with a portion of the Dyneema® removed from the rear face so that the projectile can exit the Al plate without again interacting with the Dyneema®. A combination of synchronized high speed photography with three cameras, together with post-test examination of the targets via X-ray tomography and optical microscopy was used to elucidate the deformation and perforation mechanisms. The measurements show that the ballistic resistance of these targets increases in the order: bare Al plate, rear face cutout target, fully encased target and front face cutout target. These findings are explained based on the following key findings: (a) the ballistic performance of Dyneema® plates supported on a foundation is inferior to Dyneema® plates supported along their edges; (b) the apparent ballistic resistance of Dyneema® plates increases if the plates are given an initial velocity prior to the impact by the projectile, thereby reducing the relative velocity between the Dyneema® plate and projectile; and (c) when the projectile is fragmented prior to impact, the spatially and temporally distributed loading enhances the ballistic resistance of the Dyneema®. The simple model targets designed here have elucidated mechanisms by which Dyneema® functions in multi-material structures. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ballistic resistance Penetration mechanisms Polymeric composites
Divisions: Div C > Materials Engineering
Div C > Applied Mechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 20:06
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2020 03:03
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2014.02.002