Analysis of Terminal Metallic Armor Plate Free-Surface Bulging

Report No. ARL-RP-231
Authors: E. J. Rapacki, Jr.
Date/Pages: October 2008; 18 pages
Abstract: An analysis of the bulge formed on the free-surface of the terminal metallic plate of an armor array is shown to lead to reasonable estimates of the armor array's remaining penetration/perforation resistance. Terminal ballistic performance evaluations of penetrators and armors are often performed via statistical analyses to obtain a velocity or obliquity at which the expected probability of perforation is 0.5, or an analytical form relating the residual velocity of the emerging penetrator to the initial impacting velocity in order to determine a limit velocity. Herein, bulge analysis of rolled homogeneous armor (RHA) plate indicates a plugging/breakout thickness related to the armor material but independent of penetrator material and that bulge extent is a function of penetrator material consistent with the penetrator's cavity formation characteristics. This breakout and bulge size information leads to expressions for remaining penetrable RHA vs. free-surface-bulge height for both tungsten-based-composite and uranium-alloy penetrators.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2008