Reusable Rapid Prototyped Blunt-Impact Simulator

Report No. ARL-TR-7742
Authors: Douglas A Petrick;
Date/Pages: August 2016; 22 pages
Abstract: Advancements in component fabrication using rapid prototyping (RP) have recently begun to revolutionize the field of projectile development. RP components have been successfully used in wind tunnel mock-ups, internal electronics packaging, and sabot applications, to name a few. The ability to produce highly detailed geometry in very short manufacturing lead times, often less than 24 h, is being used in the early stages of projectile development to accelerate schedules and save costs. The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Guidance Technologies Branch recently used RP technology to create a custom reusable projectile for air-cannon-launched impact research. Several projectile configurations with varying frontal impact area geometries were manufactured using selective laser sintering RP technology. These projectiles were launched with a compressed air cannon developed by ARL's Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate and Weapons and Materials Research Directorate for the behind helmet blunt trauma research initiative. The projectiles contained a commercial-off-the-shelf onboard recorder in conjunction with a 3-axis accelerometer to measure impact forces between the projectile and target. The projectiles were subsequently recovered, and the recorded impact data were downloaded via an embedded connector interface for analysis. The objective of this report is to inform the audience of a novel use of RP technology to fabricate projectiles for a nonclassical gun experimental application.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2016