Numerical Study of the Failure Mechanism of Ceramics during Low Velocity Impact Used in Protective Systems

  • Constantine (Costas) FountzoulasEmail author
  • Raymond E. Brennan
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


The rapid advancement of computing power and recent advances in numerical techniques and material models have resulted in accurate simulation of ballistic impacts into multi-layer armor configurations. For both transparent and opaque protective systems, low velocity impact damage can also compromise structural integrity (Fig. 61.1). Drop-tower experimentation is used to assess the damage of low velocity impact of ceramics. Modeling and simulation of material impact by various threat types has proven to be a significant analysis tool in the identification of damage mechanisms and the failure process. Impact can be numerically studied by various available commercial packages. However, each package has its own limitations and the accuracy of result duplication differs. The commercial software packages AUTODYN (ANSYS/AUTODYN Vol 14.5 October 2012, Manual) and ANSYS/WORKBENCH ( were used for the numerical analysis of the low velocity impact during the drop-tower experimentation. AUTODYN has been successfully implemented for the modeling of the medium to high velocity impact. ANSYS/WORKBENCH has been used successfully to model systems of complex geometry. Both software packages showed similar simulated damage results in alumina targets caused by an indenter dropped at various heights. However, ANSYS/WORKBENCH due its superior preprocessing capabilities can be a valuable tool for fast assessment of the failure prediction of ceramics at low impact velocity.


Drop tower Low velocity impact Numerical analysis AUTODYN ANSYS/WORKBENCH Failure 


  1. 1., Drop weight impact machine
  2. 2.
    ANSYS/AUTODYN Vol 14.5 October 2012, Manual, ANSYS, Inc., Southpointe, 275 Technology Drive, Canonsburg, PA 15317Google Scholar
  3. 3. ANSYS/WORKBENCH, ANSYS, Inc., Southpointe, 275 Technology Drive, Canonsburg, PA 15317

Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constantine (Costas) Fountzoulas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raymond E. Brennan
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Army Research Laboratory, WMRD, RDRL-WMM-B1 and WMRD, RDRL-WMM-D2, Aberdeen Proving GroundAberdeenUSA

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