The main goal of this numerical and experimental study of composite armour systems was to investigate their ballistic behaviour. Numerical simulations were employed to determine the initial dimensions of panel layers before the actual ballistic test. In order to achieve this aim, multivariate computations with different thicknesses of panel layers were conducted. Numerical calculations were performed with the finite element method in the LS-DYNA software, which is a commonly used tool for solving problems associated with shock wave propagation, blasts and impacts. An axisymmetric model was built in order to ensure sufficient discretization. Results of a simulation study allowed thicknesses of layers ensuring assumed level of protection to be determined.
According to the simulation results two armour configurations with different ceramics have been fabricated. The composite armour systems consisted of the front layer made of Al2O3 or SiC ceramic and high strength steel as the backing material. The ballistic performance of the proposed protective structures were tested with the use of 7.62 mm Armour Piercing (AP) projectile. A comparison of impact resistance of two defence systems with different ceramic has been carried out. Application of silicon carbide ceramic improved ballistic performance, as evidenced by smaller deformations of the second layer. In addition, one of armour systems was complemented with an intermediate ceramic-elastomer layer. A ceramic-elastomer component was obtained using pressure infiltration of gradient porous ceramic by elastomer. Upon ballistic impact, the ceramic body dissipated kinetic energy of the projectile. The residual energy was absorbed by the intermediate composite layer. It was found, that application of composite plates as a support of a ceramic body provided a decrease of the bullet penetration depth
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