Numerical Analysis Study of the Failure Mechanism of Transparent Materials During Low Velocity Impact Used in Protective Systems

Report No. ARL-RP-325
Authors: C. G. Fountzoulas; R. E. Brennan; J. M. Sands
Date/Pages: July 2011; 12 pages
Abstract: The rapid advancement of computing power and recent advances in numerical techniques and material models have resulted in accurate simulation of ballistic impacts into multi-layer transparent armor configurations. Transparent and opaque materials are used in protective systems for enhancing survivability of ground vehicles, air vehicles, and personnel. Transparent materials are utilized for face shields, riot gear, and vehicle windows, in addition to other applications for sensor protection, including radomes and electromagnetic (EM) windows. For both transparent and opaque protective systems, low velocity impact damage can compromise structural integrity and increase the likelihood of further damage or penetration from a high velocity impact strike. Modeling and simulation of material impact by various threat types has proven to be a significant analysis tool in the identification of damage mechanisms and the failure process. The impact of laminate targets consisting of a series of glass layers adhered to each other by polyurethane and backed by a polymeric backing layer, was modeled and simulated. The failure mechanism of laminate targets was studied by ANSYS/AUTODYN [1] commercial software and the results were compared to available experimental data from various nondestructive techniques. Successful output of this modeling effort will provide useful information for the mitigation of damage propagation through targets used in protective systems and it will help to establish an economical damage acceptance criterion for any future material prior to its fielding.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: July 1, 2011