Bio-inspired Armor Protective Material Systems for a Ballistic Shock Mitigation

Authors: Jinhua Hang (M4), Helen Durden (M4), Mostafiz Chowdhury (ARL)

Journal: Materials and Design 32 (2011), 3702-3710

Abstract: Severe transient ballistic shocks from projectile impacts, mine blasts, or overhead artillery attacks can incapacitate an occupant at low frequencies or sensitive equipment at high frequencies if they are not properly attenuated by armor protective systems. Unique challenges exist in developing armor protective systems for mitigating both low and high frequency ballistic shocks due to the lack of robust design methodology, the severe dynamic loading conditions, and the uncertainties in predicting ballistic shock responses. Nature offers engineers a blueprint of highly effective, efficient, and adaptive material designs to protect certain regions from external threats. This paper presents the modeling, analysis, design, optimization, fabrication, and experimental validation of bone-inspired armor protective material systems for reducing projectile penetrations and alleviating ballistic shocks at both low and high frequencies. The optimized bone-inspired armor protective material system has a soft–stiff–soft–stiff material distribution pattern based on bone-foramen and osteonal-bone material systems. Analysis and experimental results demonstrated that the bone-inspired armor protective material systems have excellent capabilities for drastic ballistic shock mitigation, weight savings, and significant reductions in penetration and load transmission under ballistic loading conditions.