Purdue University Graduate School
20200429_ZheruiGuo_Failure_modes_of_multi_ply_soft_armor_targets_under_projectile_normal_impact.pdf (52.96 MB)

Design optimization of multi-ply soft armor targets based on failure modes under projectile normal impact

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posted on 2020-04-29, 19:45 authored by Zherui GuoZherui Guo
At the ballistic limit velocity of a soft armor target pack, the impact response has been shown to be decoupled in the thickness direction, with the initial few plies behaving in an inelastic fashion via off-axis failure modes such as transverse shear or diametral compression. Past the initial few layers, the remaining plies dissipate energy via membrane-like responses, which only involve in-plane tensile failure modes of the constituent fibers. Since these initial plies only contribute to energy absorption via inelastic kinetic energy transfer, previous studies have shown that these plies may be replaced with another material with other desirable properties, such as lower manufacturing costs or stab-resistance.
However, the methodology of determining these parameters is still largely empirical. Armor panels are typically impacted and the shot outcomes subsequently evaluated in order to achieve a quantitative ballistic performance for the panel. Additionally, the ballistic performance is usually determined with respect to a particular projectile. Several models have been proposed to provide an efficient method of predicting ballistic limit determination, but results are sometimes difficult to translate across different projectile-target pairs.
The main research direction in the first volume looking at soft armor impact failure modes and design optimization is obviously of immediate relevance to this dissertation. We start off with an examination of the different types of failure modes that impact on fibrous armors may yield. Subsequently, building on these concepts, we take a deeper look into how different impact parameters cause different failure modes,and we end with a discussion of how the armor panel may be designed around these different failure modes. Although some rudimentary analytical and modeling efforts have been put forth, the current work places more emphasis heavily on experimental techniques and observations, as is the nature of the work typically produced by our research group.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Weinong Chen

Additional Committee Member 2

James Doyle

Additional Committee Member 3

Wenbin Yu

Additional Committee Member 4

Chelsea Davis

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