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Understanding the ballistic event : methodology and observations relevant to ceramic armour.

Healey, Adam (2017) Understanding the ballistic event : methodology and observations relevant to ceramic armour. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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The only widely-accepted method of gauging the ballistic performance of a material is to carry out ballistic testing; due to the large volume of material required for a statistically robust test, this process is very expensive. Therefore a new test, or suite of tests, that employ widely-available and economically viable characterisation methods to screen candidate armour materials is highly desirable; in order to design such a test, more information on the armour/projectile interaction is required. This work presents the design process and results of using an adapted specimen configuration to increase the amount of information obtained from a ballistic test. By using a block of ballistic gel attached to the ceramic, the fragmentation generated during the ballistic event was captured and analysed. In parallel, quasi-static tests were carried out using ring-on-ring biaxial disc testing to investigate relationships between quasi-static and ballistic fragment fracture surfaces. Three contemporary ceramic armour materials were used to design the test and to act as a baseline; Sintox FA alumina, Hexoloy SA silicon carbide and 3M boron carbide. Attempts to analyse the post-test ballistic sample non-destructively using X-ray computed tomography (XCT) were unsuccessful due to the difference in the density of the materials and the compaction of fragments. However, the results of qualitative and quantitative fracture surface analysis using scanning electron microscopy showed similarities between the fracture surfaces of ballistic fragments at the edges of the tile and biaxial fragments; this suggests a relationship between quasi-static and ballistic fragments created away from the centre of impact, although additional research will be required to determine the reason for this. Ballistic event-induced porosity was observed and quantified on the fracture surfaces of silicon carbide samples, which decreased as distance from centre of impact increased; upon further analysis this porosity was linked to the loss of a boron-rich second phase. Investigating why these inclusions are lost and the extent of the effect of this on ballistic behaviour may have important implications for the use of multi-phase ceramic materials as armour.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects : Ceramics, armour, ballistics, characterisation
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Healey, Adam
Date : 30 June 2017
Funders : EPSRC
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID,,, John, Stuart
Depositing User : Adam Healey
Date Deposited : 30 Jun 2017 08:29
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 19:21

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