Proton Radiography of Reverse Ballistic Impacts
Ceramics are important materials due to their high strength and hardness, particularly in armor systems such as personnel body armor where they are used extensively. Understanding the failure process for these types of systems is key to improving their performance. To better understand the process of failure in ceramic materials subjected to ballistic impacts, we planned and executed reverse ballistic experiments to study material failure during impact on a silicon carbide target. The primary diagnostic tool we used was proton radiography conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) using their 800 mega-electron-volt (MeV) linear accelerator. Proton radiography at this facility is capable of excellent spatial and temporal resolution with up to 31 frames of data captured with variable frame spacing and gate time. We report and discuss some of the results of these experiments.
KeywordsFracture Impact Proton radiography Ceramic Damage
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of support staff and technicians at ARL who assisted with preliminary experiments in preparation for the proton radiography experiments at LANL and the support staff and technicians at LANL who helped prepare and execute these experiments. We would like to thank Brian Leavy (ARL) for providing the WHA long rod penetrators. We would also like to thank Lee Magness (ARL), Tyler Ehlers (ARL), Jerry LaSalvia (ARL), and Jim Campbell (ARL) for helpful advice and discussion. Finally, we’d like to acknowledge John Niederhaus of the ALEGRA development team (SNL) for his assistance in debugging simulations which were run in support of these experiments.
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