Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites OnlineFirst, published on September 8, 2009 as
doi:10.1177/0731684409343727
Behavior of Kevlar/Epoxy Composite Plates Under Ballistic Impact
SUNIL KUMAR, ^{1}^{,} * DURGA SHANKAR GUPTA, ^{2} INDERDEEP SINGH ^{1} AND
APURBBA SHARMA ^{1}
^{1} Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, IIT Roorkee Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India
^{2} Research & Development, TVS Motor Company, Bangalore, India
ABSTRACT: This study investigates the ballistic response of laminated composite plates using numerical simulations. Numerical simulations were carried out to determine the ballistic response of thick Kevlar/epoxy composite plates, commonly used in body armor. These plates were impacted at velocities between 100 and 1000 m/s. The numerical parametric study of ballistic impact caused by cylindrical projectile is undertaken to obtain an estimate for the ballistic limit velocity, energy absorbed by the plate, and the contact duration. The effect of mass and diameter of the projectile on ballistic limit velocity was also studied. The results obtained hereby are in good agreement with the experimental data presented by other researchers.
KEY WORDS: Kevlar/epoxy ballistic impact.
composite,
projectile,
numerical
INTRODUCTION
simulation,
impact
behavior,
C OMPOSITE MATERIALS ARE being increasingly used in different engineering fields due to their inherently superior mechanical properties such as high strengthtoweight
ratio and high stiffness. These materials have applications in aircraft industry, civil, mechanical, defense, and other disciplines in which they are subjected to a wide spectrum of loading during inservice use. Polymer matrix composites (PMCs) are attractive because they are lighter, stronger, and stiffer than unreinforced polymers or conventional metals, with the additional advantage that their properties and form can be tailored to meet the needs of a specific application. Highperformance fibers such as carbon, boron, graphite, and Kevlar are of the highest interest for military and aerospace composite applications that can be used at high temperatures and resist corrosion better than conventional metals or plastics. PMCs have been widely adopted in military applications to resist foreign object impact loading. During ballistic impact, PMC retards the projectile by absorbing its
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: sunil497@gmail.com Figures 1, 2 and 4 7 appear in color online: http://jrp.sagepub.com
Journal of REINFORCED PLASTICS AND COMPOSITES, Vol. 0, No. 00/2009
07316844/09/00 0001 17 $10.00/0
DOI: 10.1177/0731684409343727
1
The Author(s), 2009. Reprints and permissions:
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_{2}
S. KUMAR ET AL.
kinetic energy through different mechanisms such as deformation of the composite, dela mination, and shear between layers. The condition for perforation, also called ballistic limit, is certainly the most important factor for designing a suitable protective structure. It is important to understand the dynamic behavior of composite structures and the associated damage mechanisms in order to effectively use the composite as a protective structure. Significant research has been carried out on the behavior of composite materials under impact loading. However, works on ballistic impacts, particularly on Kevlar/epoxy com posites are still in their infancy. Cantwell and Morton [1] conducted low and highvelocity impact tests to examine the perforation process in a carbon fiber reinforced plastic com posite and a perforation model had been developed in order to predict the influence of target thickness and specimen size on the perforation threshold. In thinner laminates a conicalshaped perforation zone was observed whereas two distinct failure processes were observed in case of thick laminates. Zhu et al. [2] investigated the response of woven Kevlar/polyester laminates of varying thicknesses to quasistatic and dynamic penetration by cylindroconical projectiles. Ballistic limits were also determined and terminal velocities were measured. It was reported that deliberately introduced delamination and changes in the volume fraction did not result in significant changes in the impact resistance. The damage pattern for dynamic loading was, however, quite different from that in the corre sponding quasistatic penetration case. Potti and Sun [3] investigated ballistic impact using a static punch curve as a ‘structural constitutive model’ to capture the highly nonlinear behavior of thick laminates. The model was shown to predict the penetration process for short and long projectiles. The delaminated area was shown to increase when the impact velocity is increased until the ballistic limit, beyond which the delamination area decreases with an increase in impact velocity. Cheng et al. [4] developed a model for highvelocity impact on thick composites for predicting the response of thick composite targets. This model was based on a continuum approach, which was built on the framework of an orthotropic constitutive behavior with stressbased failure criteria and a simplified degra dation model of the failure of composites. The model was implemented into a hydrody namic finite element code. Punching, fiber breakage, and delamination were the major energyabsorbing mechanisms of the penetration processes. Silva et al. [5] have reported experimental and numerical simulation of ballistic impact on Kevlar 29 impacted with simulated fragments. Numerical modeling was developed and used to obtain an estimate for the limit perforation velocity (V _{5}_{0} ) and simulate failure modes and damage. Good correlation between computational simulation and experimental results was reported, both in terms of deformation and damage of the laminates. Tan and Khoo [6] studied the response of spectra shield laminates to ballistic impacts by projectiles of flatended, hemispherical, ogival (CRH 2.5), and conical (300 halfangle) shapes. Ballistic tests showed that flatended projectiles cut the laminate through a shearing action whereas hemispherical projectiles perforate the laminates by stretching the spectra filaments to failure resulting in a rectangular hole in the laminates. On the other hand, ogival and conical projectiles perforate the laminates with minimal delamination and tearing of the specimens. The area of the specimens affected by the projectiles appears to increase in size instead of becoming more localized at higher impact velocities. Naik and Doshi [7] pre sented ballistic impact behavior of typical woven fabric Eglass/epoxy thick composites analytically. Specifically, the energy absorbed by different mechanisms, ballistic limit velocity, and contact duration were determined. Further, effect of incident impact velocity on contact duration and residual velocity, effect of projectile diameter and mass on
Behavior of Kevlar/Epoxy Composite Plates Under Ballistic Impact
3
ballistic limit velocity, and effect of target thickness on ballistic limit velocity and con tact duration were studied. It was reported that shear plugging is the major energyabsorb ing mechanism. Kevlar has the highest energy absorbing capability among a variety of composites and therefore is the most widely used material in ballistic applications [2]. Ballistic impact behavior of woven fiber Kevlar/epoxy thick composite laminates while impacted by cylindrical flat ended 4340 steel projectiles is presented in this work. Effects of projectile velocity, diameter, and mass on the ballistic impact behavior of the targets are studied using numerical simulation. The simulations are carried out using ANSYS AUTODYN version 11. Friction and gravity effects are not considered in the simulations.
THEORY OF BALLISTIC IMPACT
Impacts resulting in complete penetration of the target are often called ballistic impacts, whereas nonpenetrating impacts are called lowvelocity impacts [8]. Ballistic impact is a highvelocity impact event in which lowmass highvelocity projectile propelled by a source onto a target. Based on the target geometry, material properties and projectile parameters penetration or perforation may be possible. If the projectile’s initial kinetic energy is less than the energy that the target can absorb then the projec tile can either be stuck within the target or rebound. Perforation takes place with cer tain residual velocity if the projectile’s initial kinetic energy is more than the energy that target can absorb. When the projectile perforates the target completely with zero residual velocity then initial velocity of the projectile of a given mass is referred to as the ballistic limit (V _{B}_{L} ) [9]. Since several complex modes are involved in the pen etration process and since some degree of variability is always present, the ballistic limit is often defined as the minimum impact velocity that will result in complete pen etration [8]. During the ballistic impact, energy transfer takes place from the projectile to the target. Polymer composites retard the projectile by absorbing its kinetic energy. Different mechanisms such as the cone formation on the back face of the target, defor mation of secondary yarns, tension in primary yarns/fibers, delamination, matrix crack ing, shear plugging, and friction between the projectile and the target do take place during an impact. Different mechanisms can dominate for different materials like carbon, glass, or Kevlar. The tensile properties of the fiber, the properties of the matrix, the arrangement of the fibers in the composite, and the interfacial strength are the factors that control the energy absorption phenomenon. The residual kinetic energy of a projectile varies linearly with the initial kinetic energy. Therefore, the energy required for the perforation of the target is constant and conservation of energy can be written as (8):
1
2
^{m} ^{P} ^{V} _{P} 2 ¼ E _{P}_{F} þ
1
2
^{m} ^{P} ^{V} 2
_{R}
ð 1Þ
where, m _{P} , V _{P} , and V _{R} are the mass, incident impact velocity, and residual velocity of the projectile, respectively. E _{P}_{F} is the perforation energy. The above equation indicates that energy required for perforating the target is independent of projectile velocity. At ballistic limit, residual velocity of the projectile remains zero. The estimated ballistic
_{4}
S. KUMAR ET AL.
limit velocity (V _{B}_{L} ) is then given by following condition:
E PF ¼
1
2
^{m} ^{P} ^{V} 2
_{B}_{L} ) V _{B}_{L} ¼
p
ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ
2E _{P}_{F} =m _{P}
ð
2 Þ
Penetration time can be calculated by taking the derivative of the projectile displacement, Z _{P} with respect to time. Penetration time also can be predicted where the velocity is zero. Thus, as penetration through the target is complete:
_{V} P _{¼} dZ _{P} dt
¼ 0
ð 3 Þ
Perforation time can be calculated by taking the derivative of the projectile velocity with respect to time. Then perforation time can be predicted where the acceleration is zero.
_{a} P _{¼} dV _{P} dt
¼ 0
ð 4 Þ
These relationships have been used in the development of a finite element model in order to investigate the damage behavior of Kevlar/epoxy target under ballistic impact.
MODELING OF THE COMPOSITE SYSTEM
Numerical Modeling
The experimental analysis of ballistic impact problems is a tedious task. The experi mental setup has a number of control variables as well as the instrumentation required to capture all the details of the ballistic test is quite expensive. Although a lot of analysis has been done using the simulation approachstill a lot remains to be done in the direction of developing authentic models for capturing the inherent characteristics of the ballistic impact. The codes have been written to simulate the ballistic performance of isotropic materials. The degree of anisotropy in case of composite materials makes it imperative to develop dedicated finite element models for investigating their ballistic characteristics. The simulations were carried out using commercial hydrocode, ANSYS AUTODYN version 11.0, a general purpose nonlinear dynamics modeling and simulation software, developed by Century Dynamics. The code uses finite difference, finite element, and finite volume methods to solve mass, momentum, and energy conservation equations. The Kevlar/epoxy target plate had the dimensions of 100 100 9.5 mm ^{3} . Cylindrical flatended projectiles of 4340 steel in different sizes were used in the study of effect of different parameters on the ballistic behavior of these plates. Both projectile and the target were modeled using the Lagrange processor and hexahedron brick elements. As the structure has symmetry in both the directions, a quarter of the panel as well as the projectile have been used and the resulting model is shown in Figure 1. Initially, analysis for a test case was carried out with a number of mesh densities in order to assess the adequate mesh density for getting a converged solution. A mesh size of 50 50 19 for the quarter plate having higher mesh density near the left lower corner (point of impact) as shown in Figure 1 (corresponding to the actual plate center) has been found to be sufficient for the present study. A fixed boundary condi tion was used for the top and right sides of the model (Figure 1) corresponding to
Behavior of Kevlar/Epoxy Composite Plates Under Ballistic Impact
5
Figure 1. A quarter numerical model of the projectile and target plate.
actual plate edges while a symmetric boundary condition for the other two sides repre senting the line of symmetry.
Material Modeling
In anisotropic materials equation of state and constitutive model are strongly coupled as volumetric strain leads to deviatoric stress, and similarly deviatoric strain leads to spher ical stress. An advanced material model developed by Hayhurst et al. [10] was used to represent the mechanical response of the composite laminates under large deformation that couples nonlinear constitutive relations with the equation of state. The model can include compaction and orthotropic brittle failure criteria to detect directional failure such as delamination. PMCs subject to impact exhibit complex behavior. Failures in ballistic impact mainly depend on the shape of the projectile. In general shear plugging occurs near the impacted side, followed by a region in which failure occurs by tensile fiber fracture and delaminations occur near the exit and both leads to bulk failure. Principal directions 1 and 2 were assumed inplane directions and direction 3 was taken to coincide with the through thethickness direction. In the current formulation of the composite material model, the effect of thermal strain was not considered. When failure occurs, materials lose their load carrying capacity and to accommodate for that, the properties of the composites change depending on the type of failure. Failure initiation criterion for Kevlar/epoxy was assumed to be based on a combination of material stress and strain failure. Tensile failure initiation can be based on any combination of the material stress and/or strain in the orthotropic principal material directions. An incremental constitutive relation relating elements of stress ( rij), strain ( e ij), and stiffness (Cij) matrix is given in Equation (5). Delamination is assumed to result from excessive throughthickness tensile stresses or
6
S. KUMAR ET AL.
strains and/or from excessive shear stresses or strains in the matrix material [5]. In the incremental constitutive relation:
8
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:
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=
¼
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4 0000
0000
C
C
C
11
21
31
C 12
C 22
C 32
C 13
C 23
C 33
000
000
000
0
C _{4}_{4}
0
0
0
000
C _{5}_{5}
C _{6}_{6}
3
9
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7 > " 23 >
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33
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=
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7 >
5
:
ð
5 Þ
the stress r _{3}_{3} normal to the laminate is instantaneously set to zero and the material stiffness matrix becomes:
8
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>
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>
<
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:
9
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C
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6
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4 0
0
_{1}_{1}
C _{2}_{1}
C
_{1}_{2}
C _{2}_{2}
00
00
00
0
000
0
0
0
C _{4}_{4}
00
00
0
0
0
0
C _{5}_{5}
0
0
0
0
0
0
C _{6}_{6}
3
7
9
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7 > " 22 >
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7
7 > " 23 >
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33
=
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5
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> " 31 >
>
;
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" 12
:
ð
6 Þ
Delamination may also result in a reduction in shear stiffness of composite material via parameter a , which ranges between 0.0 and 1.0. Inplane failure is assumed to result from excessive stresses and/or strains in the 11 or 22directions. If failure is initiated from these two modes, the stress in the failed direction is instantaneously set to zero. For example, for 22direction failure the post failure stiffness matrix becomes:
8
>
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:
9
11
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22 >
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23 >
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;
12
>
=
¼
2
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
4 0
0
6
0
C _{1}_{1}
0
C _{3}_{1}
0
00
0
00
00
00
C _{1}_{3}
C _{3}_{3}
000
0
000
C _{4}_{4}
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
C _{5}_{5}
C _{6}_{6}
3
7
5
8
<
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" 12
ð
7 Þ
Finally, the combined effect of failure in all three material directions results in a material that can only sustain hydrostatic pressure. All the simulations were performed on woven Kevlar/epoxy composite target plates. The 4340 steel was represented using the Johnson Cook strength model and failure model, which include strain and strain rate hardening effects. Material data for Kevlar/epoxy target [11] and 4340 steel [12] projectile are shown in Table 1.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Ballistic impact behavior of typical woven fiber Kevlar/epoxy plate was studied. The target plates were clamped and projectile collided onto the center of the plate.
Behavior of Kevlar/Epoxy Composite Plates Under Ballistic Impact
7
Table 1. Material details of Kevlar/epoxy target and 4340 steel.
Woven Kevlar/epoxy Equation of states: Orthotropic Subequation of states: Polynomial Reference density (g/cm ^{3} ): 1.65 Young’s modulus 11 (kPa): 1.798900E + 007 Young’s modulus 22 (kPa): 1.798900E + 007 Young’s modulus 33 (kPa): 1.948000E + 006 Poisons ratio: 12 0.08000 Poisons ratio: 23 0.69800 
Maximum shear stress 31 (kPa): 5.4300E + 005 Tensile failure strain 11: 0.06000 Tensile failure strain 22: 0.06000 Tensile failure strain 33: 0.02000 Maximum shear strain 12: 1.0000E + 020 Maximum shear strain 23: 1.0100E + 020 Maximum shear strain 31: 1.0100E + 020 Post failure response: Orthotropic 

Poisons ratio: 31 0.07560 
Fail 11 & 
11 only 
Strength: Elastic Shear modulus (kPa): 1.857010E + 06 Failure: Material stress/strain Tensile failure stress 11 (kPa): 1.85000E + 006 Tensile failure stress 22 (kPa): 1.85000E + 006 
Fail 22 & Fail 33 & Fail 12 & Fail 23 & Fail 31 & 
22 only 33 only 12 and 11 only 23 and 11 only 12 and 11 only 
Tensile failure stress 33 (kPa): 1.20000E + 006 Maximum shear stress 12 (kPa): 7.7000E + 004 Maximum shear stress 23 (kPa): 5.4300E + 005 
Residual shear stiff. fract. 0.20 Erosion: Instantaneous geometric strain Erosion strain 1.2 
4340 steel Equation of states: Linear Reference density (g/cm ^{3} ): 7.8300 Bulk modulus (kPa): 1.59E + 08 Reference temperature (K): 300 Specific heat capacity: (J/kg K) 477 Strength: JohnsonCook Shear modulus (kPa): 7.700E + 07 Equation of states: Linear Reference density (g/cm ^{3} ): 7.8300 Yield stress (kPa): 7.92E + 05 Hardening constant (kPa): 5.10E + 05
Hardening exponent: 0.26 Strain rate constant: 0.014 Thermal softening exponent: 1.03 Melting temperature (K): 1793 Failure: JohnsonCook Damage constant, D1: 0.05000 Damage constant, D2: 3.44000 Damage constant, D3: 2.12000 Damage constant, D4: 0.00200 Damage constant, D5: 0.61000
The thickness of plate in all the cases was 9.5 mm. The model produced detailed time history results for every requested variable. Of particular interest were velocity of the projectile, variation of energy absorbed by the plate, damage behavior, and projectile deformation with respect to time. The computation results are presented and discussed in this section.
Effect of Incident Impact Velocity on the Ballistic Behavior
In order to investigate the behavior of target plate at different velocities, simulations were performed in the velocity range of 100 1000 m/s. Steel projectile used for this study was cylindricalshaped flatended having 10 mm length and diameter with a mass of 6.15 g. The projectile’s energy decreases during the ballistic impact as the energy is absorbed by the target by different mechanisms resulting retardation of the projectile. Figure 2 depicts the variation of different projectile velocities with respect to time. Incident impact velocity 100 m/s is very less to perforate the target plate and it becomes zero at 0.0795 ms and the
8
S. KUMAR ET AL.
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
Time (ms)
0.25
0.30
0.35
Figure 2. Variation of the projectile velocity with time.
projectile reverts back around after 0.15 ms with the negative velocity as shown in Figure 2. Similar result is observed at velocity of 140 m/s but at this velocity the projectile takes more time to change its direction. At the velocity of 177 m/s projectile also reverts back with small negative velocity. With further increase in incident impact velocity to 178 m/s projectile perforates the target at 0.2702 ms with residual velocity of 5.79 m/s. Thus, for the given target projectile combination the ballistic limit is found to be 178 m/s. Naik and Doshi [7] developed an analytical model to predict the ballistic limit velocity for fiberreinforced plastics. The ballistic limit velocity predicted for eglass epoxy composites was found to be in the range of 142.5 559.112 m/s. The range of ballistic limit velocity for experimental findings was noted as 148 563 m/s. The results have been found by varying the mass and the diameter of the projectile as well as the target thickness. The ballistic limit velocity found out as a result of the present investigation is well within the range. Moreover, the present research endeavor has focused on Kevlar fiber reinforced epoxy which is predo minantly used in impact resistant applications. With the increase in incident impact velocity the contact duration increases until ballistic limit and was maximum for ballistic limit because projectile travels more distance. Further increasing the velocity after ballistic limit, contact duration reduces as projectile travels at higher velocity and takes less time to pass through the thickness of the target. As seen in Figure 2, the perforation time for velocity of 1000 m/s is minimum. Contact duration as a function of incident impact velocity is presented in Figure 3. Similar observations were made by Naik and Doshi [7] in their analytical work. With the increase in incident impact velocity, residual velocity also increases and a linear relationship exists. Figure 4 shows the curve between incident impact velocity and residual velocity. A sudden increase in the residual velocity can be seen just after the ballistic limit velocity. Similar observations were also made in few experimental investiga tions [2,3].
Behavior of Kevlar/Epoxy Composite Plates Under Ballistic Impact
9
_{0}
200
600
Incident impact velocity (m/s)
400
800
1000
1200
Figure 3. Contact duration as a function of incident impact velocity.
0
200
600
Incident impact velocity (m/s)
400
800
_{1}_{0}_{0}_{0}
_{1}_{2}_{0}_{0}
Figure 4. Residual velocity as a function of incident impact velocity.
The kinetic energy of the projectile is transferred to the target after the impact conse quently the target energy gets increased and a part of projectile energy gets used for deformation of the projectile. Distribution of kinetic, internal, and total energy of the target and projectile at different incident impact velocities (100, 178, 1000 m/s) with respect to time are shown in Figure 5(a) (c). In all the above cases it is observed that the kinetic energy of the projectile reduces at a faster rate at which internal energy of the target plate increases. Figure 5(a) shows the energy distribution a incident impact velocity of 100 m/s. In Figure 5(a) after time 0.15 ms there is increase in kinetic energy of the projectile because at this velocity projectile did not perforate the target and after impact it reverts back.
10
S. KUMAR ET AL.
(a)
0.00 
0.05 
0.10 
0.15 
0.20 
0.25 
Time (ms) 
(b)
(c)
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
Time (ms)
0.4
0.5
0.00
0.01
0.02
0.03
Time (ms)
0.04
0.05
Figure 5. Energy profile with respect to time at incident impact velocity of: (a) 100 m/s, (b) 178 m/s,
(c)
1000 m/s.
Behavior of Kevlar/Epoxy Composite Plates Under Ballistic Impact
11
Change in internal energy of the projectile is much less and is constant most of the time because contact duration is small. Target plate absorbs energy as internal and kinetic energy. Increase in internal energy of the target plate is more than the increase in kinetic energy of the plate. Figure 5(b) shows the energy variation at velocity 178 m/s, which is the ballistic limit velocity for the target plate. Contact duration is more in this case and energy transfer takes place for more time correspondingly significant rise in kinetic energy and total energy of the target plate can be seen. The same reason is valid for continuous increase in projectile internal energy. Energy variation for the impact velocity of 1000 m/s is shown in Figure 5(c). As the incident impact velocity was very high as compared to ballistic limit velocity and projectile perforates the target in 0.0166 ms. Up to this time decrease in projectile kinetic energy and increase in internal energy can be seen in the Figure 5(c). After perforation high kinetic and total energy in the projectile can be seen as incident impact velocity was very high and only a small part was conserved. In this case the gain in kinetic energy of the target plate is more than the gain in internal energy and can be clearly seen. It can be concluded that with the increase in the projectile velocity after ballistic limit velocity, deflection of the target increases as a result kinetic energy of the target increases and becomes the major energy absorption mechanism.
Damage Behavior of the Kevlar/Epoxy Target Plate
Temporal evolution of the damage sustained by the target plate caused by projectile is shown in Figure 6. The ballistic impact event can be divided into three stages [7]. During the first stage the projectile strikes to the target and compression of the target takes place directly below the projectile face, as the projectile progresses, the material would flow along the thickness direction. The further movement of the projectile because of compres sion and failure of the target leads to bulge formation on the back face. This stage is called second stage. During the third stage, plug and the projectile exit from the back face of the target as the projectile moves further. At ballistic limit velocity of 178 m/s all the three stages can be seen in Figure 6(a) (e). Figure 7 shows the damage in the composite target plate caused by the projectile at the ballistic limit velocity of 178 m/s. It can be observed very clearly that the damage takes place by tensile failure of the matrix, matrixfiber debonding, and the bulk failure of the fibers and the matrix. As the JohnsonCook failure model has been used for the projectile material, deforma tions were observed in the shape of the projectile. Deformation is high at higher velocities as shown in Table 2. The length of projectile has decreases and diameter increased as an ellipse shape. The reason for this deformation may be attributed to the orthotropic properties of the target plate. A summary of results of simulations are tabulated in Table 3.
Effect of Projectile Mass on the Ballistic Behavior
In order to investigate the effect of projectile mass on the ballistic limit velocity (V _{B}_{L} ), the target plate was tested with six projectiles of different masses having same diameter of
12
S. KUMAR ET AL.
Figure 6. Temporal
(b) t = 0.1674 ms, (c) t = 0.3146 ms, (d) t = 0.3435 ms, (e) t = 0.3930 ms.
evolution of the damage at velocity of 178 m/s at time (t): (a) t = 0.0095 ms,
Behavior of Kevlar/Epoxy Composite Plates Under Ballistic Impact
13
Figure 7. Directional failure of the target plate at ballistic limit velocity: (a) front of plate and (b) back of plate.
Table 2. Damage behavior of projectile at different incident impact velocities.
Incident impact velocity, (m/s)
250
300
500
1000
Deformation of projectile
Change in length ( L) mm 
0.06 
0.08 
0.24 
0.93 
Change in diameter ( D _{X} ) mm 
0.78 
0.96 
1.90 
2.62 
Change in diameter ( D _{Y} ) mm 
0.14 
0.22 
0.72 
2.08 
10 mm. Projectiles used were cylindrical shaped with flat end. Mass was increased by increasing the length of the projectiles. Same material and dimensions were used for target plate as mentioned earlier. The description of the projectiles and simulation results are presented in Table 4. The effect of projectile mass on the ballistic limit is illustrated in Figure 8. The characteristic clearly shows that the ballistic limit velocity decreases with the increase in mass of the projectile while keeping the diameter constant. This is attributed to the increased energy of the projectile.
Effect of Projectile Diameter on the Ballistic Behavior
The effect of projectile diameter on ballistic limit velocity (V _{B}_{L} ) of the target was also studied. For this study four cylindricalshaped flatended projectiles with increasing diam eter and having same mass of 6.15 g were used in simulations. Same material was used for projectile and the target plate parameters were also maintained constant. The description
14
S. KUMAR ET AL.
plate, penetration,
(Deflection of
perforation)
2.42 ( ) 3.32 ( ) Penetration Penetration Penetration Penetration Penetration Perforation Perforation Perforation Perforation Perforation Perforation Perforation Perforation
Remarks
" D _{Y}
0.06
0.04
0.04
0.14
0.10
0.00
0.40
2.08
0.08
0.02
0.02
0.12
0.02
0.72
0.22
Changes in projectile dimensions (mm)
Table 3. Post impact damage properties of Kevlar/epoxy plate and steel projectile.
" D _{X}
0.36
0.96
0.64
1.24
0.68
0.50
0.30
1.90
0.50
0.58
0.18
0.78
0.42
0.62
2.62
0.06
0.24
0.17
0.08
0.05
0.02
0.02
0.03
0.02
0.03
0.93
0.03
0.01
0.01
0.01
"L
Penetration
0.2017
0.1777
0.0875
0.0795
0.1353
0.1763
0.0831
(ms)
time
Projectile perforates with residual velocity
penetration
Depth of
(mm)
0.37
0.80
0.15
0.82
5.12
6.02
7.41
Perforation
0.0166
0.1329
0.0279
0.2702
0.0753
0.2141
0.0601
0.0241
(ms)
time
No residual velocity produced in these cases, the projectile will returned back or produced penetration.
Residual
velocity
123.66
22.78
363.37
5.79
72.83
285.13
811.21
188.41
(m/s)
Initial kinetic
projectile (J)
energy of
= Deflection of plate (mm).
88.86
51.96
3075.00
90.97
60.27
69.18
192.19
123.00
492.00
30.75
98.53
97.43
768.75
276.75
96.33
Incident
velocity
impact
(m/s)
172
177
179
200
150
170
250
300
500 1000
140
400
130
100
178
Behavior of Kevlar/Epoxy Composite Plates Under Ballistic Impact
15
Table 4. Ballistic limit velocity prediction for constant projectile diameter with increasing mass.
Projectile 
Projectile 
Ballistic limit velocity ( V _{B}_{L} ) (m/s) 

Projectile 
length (mm) 
mass (g) 

Projectile 1 
10 
6.15 
178.00 
Projectile 2 
11 
6.76 
165.00 
Projectile 3 
12 
7.38 
152.00 
Projectile 4 
13 
7.99 
149.50 
Projectile 5 
14 
8.61 
146.00 
Projectile 6 
15 
9.22 
142.50 
5.5
6.0
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
Projectile mass (g)
9.0
9.5
Figure 8. Ballistic limit velocity vs. projectile mass.
Table 5. Ballistic limit velocity prediction for constant mass with increasing diameter.
Projectile 
Projectile 
Ballistic limit velocity ( V _{B}_{L} ) (m/s) 

Projectile 
diameter (mm) 
length (mm) 

Projectile 1 
6 
27.77 
145.50 
Projectile 2 
8 
15.62 
157.00 
Projectile 3 
10 
10.00 
178.00 
Projectile 4 
12 
6.944 
193.00 
of the projectiles and simulation results are shown in Table 5. The change in the ballistic limit velocity with projectile diameter is presented in Figure 9. It is seen that keeping the mass constant, and increase in the diameter of the projectile, increases the ballistic limit velocity for the Kevlar/epoxy composite target plate. Similar observations for effect of diameter and mass on ballistic limit velocity on Eglass/epoxy composites were reported by Naik and Doshi [7].
16
S. KUMAR ET AL.
Projectile diameter (mm)
Figure 9. Ballistic limit velocity vs. projectile diameter.
CONCLUSIONS
(1) Ballistic impact characteristics of Kevlar/epoxy plate of 9.5 mm thickness were inves tigated. The ballistic limit velocity with the projectile of 6.15 g mass and 10 mm length and diameter projectile was found to be 178 m/s. (2) The damage behavior of the plate indicated delamination, fiber matrix debonding, and matrix failure as the possible modes of material damage. Local deformation and shear plugging are the major energy absorption mechanisms in impact perforation. (3) The contact duration also plays an important role. It increases as the incident impact velocity increases up to the ballistic limit velocity and decreases thereafter. Therefore the damage mechanisms found in the Kevlar/epoxy plate vary before and after the ballistic limit velocity. (4) Residual velocity depends upon the incident impact velocity. Residual velocity increases as the incident impact velocity increases. (5) The ballistic limit velocity of the Kevlar/epoxy plate decreases with the increase in mass of the projectile when the diameter of the projectile is kept constant. (6) As the diameter of the projectile increases the ballistic limit velocity for the Kevlar/ epoxy plate increases. (7) The internal energy of the Kevlar/epoxy plate increases after being struck by the projectile. It was observed that even at low velocity of 100 m/s, the internal energy had increased after the collision. It can be concluded that the damage is not only done when the projectile penetrates or perforates the plate but some subsurface damage (not visible) might develop because of the impact loading as the plate absorbs energy in the form of internal energy.
REFERENCES
1. Cantwell, W. J. and Morton, J. (1990). Impact Perforation of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic, Composite Science and Technology, 38: 119 141.
2.
Zhu, G., Goldsmith, W. and Dharan, C. K. H. (1992). Penetration of Laminated Kevlar by Projectiles 1. Experimental Investigation, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 29: 399 420.
Behavior of Kevlar/Epoxy Composite Plates Under Ballistic Impact
17
3. Potti, S. V. and Sun, C. T. (1997). Prediction of Impact Induced Penetration and Delamination in Thick Composite Laminates, International Journal of Impact Engineering, 19: 31 48.
4. Cheng, W. L., Langlie, S. and Itoh, S. (2003). High Velocity Impact of Thick Composite, International Journal of Impact Engineering, 29: 167 184.
5. Silva, M. A. G., Cismasiu, C. and Chiorean, C. G. (2005). Numerical Simulation of Ballistic Impact on Composite Laminates, International Journal of Impact Engineering, 31: 289 306.
6. Tan, V. B. C. and Khoo, K. J. L. (2005). Perforation of Flexible Laminates by Projectile of Different Geometry, International Journal of Impact Engineering, 31: 793 810.
7. Naik, N. K. and Doshi, A. V. (2008). Ballistic Impact Behavior of Thick Composites: Parametric Studies, Composite Structures, 82: 447 464.
8. Abrate, S. (1998). Impact on Composite Structures, 1st edn, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
9. Naik, N. K., Shrirao, P. and Reddy, B. C. K. (2005). Ballistic Impact Behaviour of Woven Fabric Composites: Parametric Studies, Materials Science and Engineering A, 412: 104 116.
10. Hayhurst, C. J., Livingstone, I. H. G., Clegg, R. A., Destefanis, R. and Faraud, M. (2001). Ballistic Limit Evaluation of Advanced Shielding using Numerical Simulations, International Journal of Impact Engineering, 26: 309 320.
11. Tham, C. Y., Tan, V. B. C. and Lee, H. P. (2008). Ballistic Impact of a KEVLAR ^{} Helmet: Experimental and Simulations, International Journal of Impact Engineering, 35: 304 318.
12. Johnson, G. R. and Cook, W. H. (1985). Fracture Characteristics of Three Metals Subjected to Various Strains, Strains Rates, Temperature and Pressure, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 21: 31 48.
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