Loughborough University
1-s2.0-S1350630723001061-main.pdf (9.97 MB)

Mechanics of ballistic impact with non-axisymmetric projectiles on thin aluminium targets. Part I: Failure mechanisms

Download (9.97 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-05, 08:50 authored by Theodosios Stergiou, Konstantinos BaxevanakisKonstantinos Baxevanakis, Anish RoyAnish Roy, Leonid V Voronov, Nickolay A Sazhenkov, Mikhail Sh. Nikhamkin, Vadim SilberschmidtVadim Silberschmidt

The ballistic performance of thin aluminium targets under normal and oblique impacts with platelike projectiles is investigated with emphasis on the local projectile-induced target response. Three projectiles of 5 mm thickness with decreasing bluntness were considered, with the ratio of the projectile’s equivalent diameter to the target’s thickness (deq/hT ) within the range of 0 to 4.89. The obtained results suggest that defeat mechanisms, and target resistance measures were different from those observed in impact with equivalent axisymmetric projectiles, as a result of a high projectile’s cross-sectional aspect ratio. Projectiles with inclined nose sections inflicted a shear-dominant failure that was locally energetically expensive and depended on the product of length (LN) and half-angle (α) of the projectile’s nose. On the other hand, projectiles with blunt sections were associated with retardation of their penetration capacity due to dynamic effects, followed by a low-energy mechanism associated with membrane stretching and tensile failure of targets. A total of 48 experiments were performed at normal-impact conditions, to estimate the critical velocity of perforation/penetration and examine the real-time deformation patterns at sub-critical velocities, by employing the digital image correlation technique. Overall, the critical velocity showed a quadratic dependence on deq/hT , where the benefit of ballistic performance decreased with an increase in this ratio. The observed non-monotonic behaviour of the critical velocity with increasing impact obliquity in some cases and the distinction in failure mechanisms highlight the importance of the projectile’s geometrical parameters for the energy transfer mechanisms. Also, the lack of correlation between the critical velocity and the local work in the target defeat term suggests that the resultant energy transfer mechanisms considerably contributed to the dissipation of the projectile’s kinetic energy. Experimental data were utilised for calibrating the material model and separate experimental results for validating the numerical (finite-element) model. A total of 119 simulations were carried out for normal and oblique impact incidences to examine the role of the projectile’s (i) rotation, (ii) geometrical features, and (iii) obliquity on the target’s dynamic performance and induced defeat mechanisms. The conclusions of this study form the basis for considering the role of the projectile’s geometrical parameters on the energy transfer mechanisms in the target through statistical and semi-analytical approaches presented in the second part of this work. 



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Engineering Failure Analysis






  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC-ND). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date


Publication date


Copyright date







  • en


Dr Konstantinos Baxevanakis. Deposit date: 2 June 2023

Article number


Usage metrics

    Loughborough Publications


    Ref. manager