Polymeric composite shield design for ballistic impact protection

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Aeronautics

Abstract

Composite materials are being used in ballistic protection systems due to their combination of high strength and low density. One of the most promising materials is the Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibre-reinforced polymeric composite due to its lightweight nature and excellent projectile capturing capabilities. This led to the material's extensive use in either soft or hard ballistic protection systems, with applications ranging from vehicle to body armour products. Therefore, it is important to develop a physically sound virtual design methodology in order to predict and optimise the impact performance of polymeric shields.
The aim of this project is to build an accurate and computationally efficient constitutive model that predicts the behaviour of UHMWPE composite laminates under high velocity impact events. The aforementioned composite material consist of UHMWPE filaments and an optimised resin. These filaments have shown a hierarchical morphology and a fibrillar nature, meaning that they consist of smaller scale fibrils, called macro-fibrils. Hence, special consideration should be given in the microstructure of the system and the way it affects the deformation, overall mechanical behaviour and failure mechanisms of the laminate. A multi-scale design approach is adopted from the macro-fibril level to the full-scale polymeric shield panel:
UHMWPE single fibre modelling, Representative Volume Element modelling, Continuum level constitutive modelling and Polymeric composite shield design.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2022
2296879 Studentship EP/N509486/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2021 Dimitrios Kempesis