Topology Optimization Based Lightweight Armor Development

Report No. ARL-TR-5319
Authors: Dwight Hofstetter Jr.*, Rahul Gupta, and Robert Bitting
Date/Pages: September 2010; 34 pages
Abstract: Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) present a constant and continually changing threat to the vehicles on the modern battlefield. Continual reengineering is needed to keep up with these threats and to safeguard the vehicles and the warfighters. To achieve this, protection kits need to be added to the vehicles. However, armor kits are a concession between maximum strength and minimum weight. Livermore Software Topology Optimization (LS-OPT)/Topology optimization software takes into account size, shape, and topology by designing for a uniform internal energy density in the structure while keeping the mass constrained. The user needs to develop a model matching the allowable limits of the desired part with a finite element analysis preprocessor. Then, the model is imported into LS-OPT/Topology and specific design limits are set. The program makes constant iterations until a tolerance with respect to the design limit (in this case mass fraction) is reached, or the amount of iterations have surpassed the set boundary. This paper explores the practical usage of LS-OPT/Topology that can be utilized by the engineers at U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to improve the modeling and simulation capabilities in the area of vehicle protection leading to Soldier survivability.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2010