University of Cambridge > > Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series > Impact perforation of polymers and polymer-metal laminates

Impact perforation of polymers and polymer-metal laminates

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This investigation considers the use of ductile polymers to enhance the impact resistance of lightweight structures. Two specific applications motivate the study: polymer linings for spall capture, and the use of polymer layers to increase the impact perforation resistance of lightweight aluminium alloy plates. Polymers are attractive in these applications due to low cost, ease of processing and microstructural versatility. First, the impact response of monolithic semi-crystalline thermoplastic targets is considered, including Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). These three materials provide contrasting microstructures and mechanical properties, with only small variations in density. The relationship between the impacting projectile nose shape, the polymer characteristics (yield strength, strain hardening, ductility) and the perforation resistance is investigated. Secondly, the impact response of polymer-metal bi-layer targets is considered. Quasi-static and impact perforation experiments are used to identify the influence of a polymer layer on the modes of deformation and fracture of a thin aluminium alloy substrate. Optimal polymer layer thicknesses are identified that maximise perforation energy per unit mass of target. Bi-layer configurations are shown to outperform monolithic metallic targets of equal weight. Finally, numerical modelling results will be presented, providing additional insights into the perforation response of the polymer-metal bi-layer targets.

This talk is part of the Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series series.

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