Influence of High Strain Rate Transverse Compression on the Tensile Strength of Polyethylene Ballistic Single Fibers

  • Frank David Thomas
  • Daniel Casem
  • Tusit Weerasooriya
  • Subramani SockalingamEmail author
  • John W. GillespieJr
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Ballistic impact onto fiber-based armor systems induce high strain rate (HSR) multiaxial loading including axial tension, axial compression, transverse compression and transverse shear. Fiber failure during impact is expected to occur under multiaxial loading conditions. The transverse compressive deformation induced in the fibers during impact is significant enough to cause permanent deformation (shear cutting and compressive fibrillation) at the sub-micron length scales. However, the influence of high strain rate transverse damage from compression and/or shear on the tensile strength of fibers is not well understood. In this study, ultrahigh molecular weight polyethyelene (UHMWPE) Dyneema SK76 single fibers are compressed at HSR loading conditions in a unique small (283 μm) diameter Kolsky bar. Subsequently, the compressed fibers are subjected to axial tension at quasi-static and HSR loading to understand the influence of transverse compression.


UHMWPE Fibers Ballistic impact Transverse compression High strain rate 



Research was sponsored by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, which is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Equipment, facilities, and training were provided by the Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Procedural design and initial experimentation is performed by Mr. Elvis Budelkhandi of the University of South Carolina. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein. The author JWG wish to acknowledge the funding from the ARL MEDE program.


  1. 1.
    Krishnan, K., Sockalingam, S., Bansal, S., Rajan, S.D.: Numerical simulation of ceramic composite armor subjected to ballistic impact. Compos. Part B Eng. 41, 583–593 (2010). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sockalingam, S., Chowdhury, S.C., Gillespie, J.W., Keefe, M.: Recent advances in modeling and experiments of Kevlar ballistic fibrils, fibers, yarns and flexible woven textile fabrics – a review. Text. Res. J. (2016). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    McDaniel, P.B., Deitzel, J.M., & Gillespie Jr, J.W.: Structural hierarchy and surface morphology of highly drawn ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fibers studied by atomic force microscopy and wide angle X-ray diffraction. Polymer 69, 148–158 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sockalingam, S., Gillespie, J.W., Keefe, M.: Dynamic modeling of Kevlar KM2 single fiber subjected to transverse impact. Int. J. Solids Struct. 67–68, 297–310 (2015). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sockalingam, S., Gillespie, J.W., Keefe, M.: Influence of multiaxial loading on the failure of Kevlar KM2 single fiber. Text. Res. J. 4051751668196 (2016). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cunniff, P.M.: Dimensionless parameters for optimization of textile-based body armor systems. In: Proceeding of 18th International Symposium Ballistic, pp. 1303–1310, San Antonio (1999)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sockalingam, S., Bremble, R., Gillespie, J.W., Keefe, M.: Composites : part A transverse compression behavior of Kevlar KM2 single fiber. Compos. Part A. 81, 271–281 (2016). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    McDaniel, P.B., Sockalingam, S., Deitzel, J.M., Gillespie, J.W., Keefe, M., Bogetti, T.A., et al.: The effect of fiber meso/nanostructure on the transverse compression response of ballistic fibers. Compos. Part A Appl. Sci. Manuf. 94, 133–145 (2017). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sockalingam, S., Casem, D.T., Jr Weerasooriya, T., J.W.G.: High Strain Rate Transverse Compression Response of Ballistic Single Fibers. Dyn. Behav. Mater. 51–55 (2018). Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sockalingam, S., Casem, D., Weerasooriya, T., McDaniel, P., Gillespie, J.: Experimental investigation of the high strain rate transverse compression behavior of ballistic single fibers. J. Dyn. Behav. Mater. 3, (2017). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sockalingam, S., Gillespie, J., Keefe, M.: Role of inelastic transverse compressive behavior and multiaxial loading on the transverse impact of Kevlar KM2 single fiber. Fibers. 5, 9 (2017). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Casem, D.T., Grunschel, S.E., Schuster, B.E.: Normal and transverse displacement interferometers applied to small diameter Kolsky bars. Exp. Mech. 52, 173–184 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sanborn, B., DiLeonardi, A.M., Weerasooriya, T.: Tensile properties of Dyneema SK76 single fibers at multiple loading rates using a direct gripping method. J. Dyn. Behav. Mater. 1, 4–14 (2015). CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank David Thomas
    • 1
  • Daniel Casem
    • 2
  • Tusit Weerasooriya
    • 2
  • Subramani Sockalingam
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • John W. GillespieJr
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.US Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving GroundAberdeenUSA
  3. 3.McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and ResearchUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Center for Composite MaterialsUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  6. 6.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  7. 7.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

Personalised recommendations