Ballistic performance of unidirectionally oriented carbon fiber reinforced composite armor with high-velocity impact
Kacan, Yelda O.
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For the last few decades, composite materials have been more popular than other conventional metal materials in the aircraft industry. Having better mechanical properties (strength, fatigue life, impact strength, corrosion resistance, etc.) and being lighter than conventional engineering materials, composites have become very important in defense industry as well. In spite of the fact that some of the composite materials such as aramid-based composites have been effectively used in body protection, they have not been so successful in heavy armored vehicles which are generally equipped with different types of add-on armor blocks for protecting against threats. These add-on armors are mostly composed of armor steels and ceramics. This study specifically aims to investigate high-velocity impact behavior of unidirectionally oriented carbon fiber reinforced/epoxy layer sandwiched with armor steel plates that are exposed to kinetic energy projectile. Carbon fibers are normally very brittle to transverse loading direction, contrarily, to its axial tension or compression direction. This is the reason why it is claimed that this high compression strength property of carbon fibers could be used for manufacturing a layer in order to replace ceramics in add-on multilayer composite armor. In order to prove this hypothesis, an experimental analysis has been carried out by performing impact tests on these manufactured add-on armor test samples. Testing was carried out in accordance with the STANAG 4569 level-4 standard. The results indicated that the multilayer carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composite-armor steel hybrid panels can provide level-4 protection with a lower areal density compared to Rolled Homogenous Armor.