Examining the Relationship Between Ballistic and Structural Properties of Lightweight Thermoplastic Unidirectional Composite Laminates
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD WEAPONS AND MATERIALS RESEARCH DIRECTORATE
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The pursuit for lightweight personal protection helmets, body armor, etc. has been a key issue for the Army in recent years. Previous efforts have shown that the variation of orientation and architecture in ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene UHMWPE composite panels can significantly affect ballistic performance characteristics. In our experiments, an architecture now referred to as ARL X Hybrid emerged as the clear leader in the compromise between ballistic performance and back face deformation BFD. For this work, thermoplastic unidirectional materials both aramid and polyethylene based were evaluated using 17 grain FSP V50 and 9 mm BFD testing in both typical 0 deg90 deg and X Hybrid architectures, at an areal density target 27 lighter 7.8 kgsq m than the currently fielded state of the art. Digital Image Correlation DIC was employed to characterize the materials during testing and to help elucidate the panel response as a function of architecture. Polyethylene materials in the X Hybrid architecture were shown to retain 96-99 of the 0 deg90 deg architectures V50 ballistic performance, while also reducing the BFD by 36-41. Higher fiber involvement, increased interaction area, and increased membrane stress and through-thickness compression are proposed as factors for this phenomenon.
- Laminates and Composite Materials