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Development of a Meso-Scale Material Model for Ballistic Fabric and Its Use in Flexible-Armor Protection Systems

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A meso-scale ballistic material model for a prototypical plain-woven single-ply flexible armor is developed and implemented in a material user subroutine for the use in commercial explicit finite element programs. The main intent of the model is to attain computational efficiency when calculating the mechanical response of the multi-ply fabric-based flexible-armor material during its impact with various projectiles without significantly sacrificing the key physical aspects of the fabric microstructure, architecture, and behavior. To validate the new model, a comparative finite element method analysis is carried out in which a the plainwoven single-ply fabric is modeled using conventional shell elements and weaving is done in an explicit manner by snaking the yarns through the fabric and b the fabric is treated as a planar continuum surface composed of conventional shell elements to which the new meso-scale unit-cell based material model is assigned. The results obtained show that the material model provides a reasonably good description for the fabric deformation and fracture behavior under different combinations of fixed and free boundary conditions. Finally, the model is used in an investigation of the ability of a multi-ply soft-body armor vest to protect the wearer from impact by a 9-mm round nose projectile. The effects of inter-ply friction, projectileyarn friction, and the far-field boundary conditions are revealed and the results explained using simple wave mechanics principles, high-deformation rate material behavior, and the role of various energy absorbing mechanisms in the fabric-based armor systems.

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  • Safety Engineering
  • Ballistics

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