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Ballistic Impact of Braided Composites with a Soft Projectile

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Impact tests using a soft gelatin projectile were performed to identify failure modes that occur at high strain energy density during impact loading. Use of a soft projectile allows a large amount of kinetic energy to be transferred into strain energy in the target before penetration occurs. Failure modes were identified for flat aluminum plates and for flat composite plat Impact tests using a soft gelatin projectile were performed to identify failure modes that occur at high strain energy density during impact loading. Use of a soft projectile allows a large amount of kinetic energy to be transferred into strain energy in the target before penetration occurs. Failure modes were identified for flat aluminum plates and for flat composite plates made from a triaxial braid having a quasi-isotropic fiber architecture with fibers in the 0 and +/- 60 deg. directions. For the aluminum plates, a large hole formed as a result of crack propagation from the initiation site at the center of the plate to the fixed boundaries. For the composite plates, fiber tensile failure occurred in the back ply at the center of the plate. Cracks then propagated from this site along the +/- 60 deg. fiber directions until triangular flaps opened to allow the projectile to pass through the plate. The damage size was only slightly larger than the initial impact area. It was difficult to avoid slipping of the fixed edges of the plates during impact, and slipping was shown to have a large effect on the penetration threshold. Failure modes were also identified for composite half-rings fabricated with the 0 deg. fibers aligned circumferentially. Slipping of the edges was not a problem in the half-ring tests. For the composite half-rings, fiber tensile failure also occurred in the back ply. However, cracks initially propagated from this site in a direction transverse to the 0 deg. fibers. The cracks then turned to follow the +/- 60 deg. fibers for a short distance before turning again to follow 0 deg. fibers until two approximately rectangular flaps opened to allow the projectile to pass through the plate. The damage size in the composite half-rings was also only slightly larger than the initial impact area. Cracks did not propagate to the boundaries, and no delamination was observed. The damage tolerance demonstrated by the quasi-isotropic triaxial braid composites ind


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Impact tests using a soft gelatin projectile were performed to identify failure modes that occur at high strain energy density during impact loading. Use of a soft projectile allows a large amount of kinetic energy to be transferred into strain energy in the target before penetration occurs. Failure modes were identified for flat aluminum plates and for flat composite plat Impact tests using a soft gelatin projectile were performed to identify failure modes that occur at high strain energy density during impact loading. Use of a soft projectile allows a large amount of kinetic energy to be transferred into strain energy in the target before penetration occurs. Failure modes were identified for flat aluminum plates and for flat composite plates made from a triaxial braid having a quasi-isotropic fiber architecture with fibers in the 0 and +/- 60 deg. directions. For the aluminum plates, a large hole formed as a result of crack propagation from the initiation site at the center of the plate to the fixed boundaries. For the composite plates, fiber tensile failure occurred in the back ply at the center of the plate. Cracks then propagated from this site along the +/- 60 deg. fiber directions until triangular flaps opened to allow the projectile to pass through the plate. The damage size was only slightly larger than the initial impact area. It was difficult to avoid slipping of the fixed edges of the plates during impact, and slipping was shown to have a large effect on the penetration threshold. Failure modes were also identified for composite half-rings fabricated with the 0 deg. fibers aligned circumferentially. Slipping of the edges was not a problem in the half-ring tests. For the composite half-rings, fiber tensile failure also occurred in the back ply. However, cracks initially propagated from this site in a direction transverse to the 0 deg. fibers. The cracks then turned to follow the +/- 60 deg. fibers for a short distance before turning again to follow 0 deg. fibers until two approximately rectangular flaps opened to allow the projectile to pass through the plate. The damage size in the composite half-rings was also only slightly larger than the initial impact area. Cracks did not propagate to the boundaries, and no delamination was observed. The damage tolerance demonstrated by the quasi-isotropic triaxial braid composites ind

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