Suppression of Material Failure Modes in Titanium Armors

Report No. ARL-TR-3124
Authors: William J. Bruchey
Date/Pages: December 2003; 24 pages
Abstract: Previous research by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has shown that the most common titanium alloy, Ti-6Al-4V, provides weight-effective protection against small-arms projectiles. In armor applications, titanium is susceptible to adiabatic shear and spall failure at the back surface. The large spall plugs that form can be a significant factor in behind-armor vulnerability and lethality. As the U.S. Army moves towards lighter and lighter Future Combat Systems class vehicles, thinner and lighter armors and structural elements will be needed. Particularly, the rear structural element in an armor must provide protection producing minimal behind-armor debris. ARL, in cooperation with the PM-Combat Systems, has undertaken a program to address this problem. Two-layer titanium composites were investigated. The initial or impact facing layer consisted of Ti-6Al-4V, with a backing layer of a nonplugging/spalling material. Backing layers consisted of commercially pure titanium, rolled homogeneous armor, steel, or aluminum. For each material combination, the two layers were either metallurgically bonded using explosive welding or diffusion bonded using hot isostatic pressing.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2003