Nondestructive Characterization of Low-Velocity Impact Damage in Protective Ceramic Components

Report No. ARL-TR-6700
Authors: Raymond E. Brennan; William H. Green; Constantine G. Fountzoulas
Date/Pages: September 2013; 22 pages
Abstract: In theater, protective systems are exposed to a wide variety of ballistic and sub-ballistic threats, which may compromise their ability to withstand single or multiple impacts. Low-velocity impact damage can originate from a number of sources that may include vehicle collisions, harsh terrain and environmental conditions, or foreign object debris from persons of interest, other vehicles, or shrapnel. Advanced ceramic components in these systems include materials, such as aluminum oxide, boron carbide, and silicon carbide. By subjecting these components to experimentally controlled low-velocity impacts and using nondestructive bulk characterization techniques to detect resulting surface and internal damage, a comparison of baseline and damaged states can be established. By developing models to simulate impact events and replicate fracture patterns, theexperimental time and cost can be reduced. These methods can be used to establish a relationship between processing ormanufacturing defects in these materials and determine the mechanisms that cause damage (i.e., crack initiation and crackpropagation) to provide insight into development of improved materials. By qualitatively and quantitatively characterizing these components before and after impact, materials can be ranked and down selected according to their ability tolerate damage, and leading candidates can be implemented for direct improvement of protective systems.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2013