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Ballistic-penetration resistance and flexural-stiffness optimization of a nacre-mimetic, B4C-reinforced, polyurea-matrix composite armor

Mica Grujicic (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA)
Jennifer Snipes (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA)
S. Ramaswami (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Structural Integrity

ISSN: 1757-9864

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to model a nacre-like composite material, consisting of tablets and polyurea tablet/tablet interfaces, B4C. This composite material is being considered in the construction of the so-called backing-plate, a layer within a multi-functional/multi-layer armor system.

Design/methodology/approach

Considering the basic functions of the backing-plate (i.e. to provide structural support for the ceramic-strike-face and to stop a high-velocity projectile and the accompanying fragments) in such an armor system, the composite-material architecture is optimized with respect to simultaneously achieving high flexural stiffness and high ballistic-penetration resistance. Flexural stiffness and penetration resistance, for a given architecture of the nacre-like composite material, are assessed using a series of transient non-linear dynamics finite-element analyses. The suitability of the optimized composite material for use in backing-plate applications is then evaluated by comparing its performance against that of the rolled homogeneous armor (RHA), a common choice for the backing-plate material.

Findings

The results obtained established: a trade-off between the requirements for a high flexural stiffness and a high ballistic-penetration resistance in the nacre-like composite material; and overall superiority of the subject composite material over the RHA when used in the construction of the backing-plate within multi-functional/multi-layer armor systems.

Originality/value

This study extends the authors previous research on nacre-mimetic armor to optimize the architecture of the armor with respect to its flexural stiffness and ballistic-penetration resistance, so that these properties could be increased over the levels attained in the current choice (RHA) for the backing layer of multi-functional/multi-layer armor.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The material presented in this paper is based on work supported by a grant entitled “Reactive-Moiety Functionalization of Polyurea for Increased Blast-Mitigation Performance” sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (Contract Number N00014-14-1-0286). The authors are indebted to Dr Roshdy Barsoum of ONR for his continuing support and interest in the present work.

Citation

Grujicic, M., Snipes, J. and Ramaswami, S. (2017), "Ballistic-penetration resistance and flexural-stiffness optimization of a nacre-mimetic, B4C-reinforced, polyurea-matrix composite armor", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 341-372. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSI-07-2016-0026

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited