Plate Perforation

  • Zvi Rosenberg
  • Erez Dekel


The process of plate perforation is the most important issue in terminal ballistics for armor engineers who seek to optimize the weight and cost of their protective designs. This subject has been the focus of a large number of studies which concentrate on two issues (1) the ballistic limit velocity for a given projectile/plate combination and (2) the projectile’s residual velocity and mass, as a function of its impact velocity. The perforation process is influenced by the back surface of the target which, together with the impact face, results in a time-varying force on the projectile during perforation. Different modes of perforation are possible and their energy absorption capabilities have to be carefully analyzed, especially when the process involves more than a single mode. For example, when thin plates are perforated they tend to stretch and bend around the impact area, absorbing a significant part of the projectile’s kinetic energy through these deformations. On the other hand, several failure modes can take place during perforation of thick plates such as spalling, petalling, discing, and plugging. These failure modes depend on several factors such as the impact velocity, the properties of the plate material, and the loading geometry (plate thickness, projectile diameter and its nose shape). These issues have been discussed by Wilkins (1978), Woodward (1990), Corbett et al. (1996), and Liu and Stronge (2000) and others. These inherent complexities call for different analytical approaches to the process of perforation, as compared with the deep penetration of rigid penetrators which were discussed in  Chap. 3.


Impact Velocity Plate Perforation Residual Velocity Ballistic Limit Nose Shape 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Almohandes AA, AbdelKader MS, Eleiche AM (1996) Experimental investigation of the resistance of steel-fiberglass reinforced polyester laminated plates. Compos Part B Eng 27:447–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atkins AG, Khan MA, Liu JH (1998) Necking and radial cracking around perforations in thin sheets and normal incidence. Int J Impact Eng 21:521–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Awerbuch J, Bodner SR (1974) Analysis of the mechanics of perforation of projectiles in metallic plates. Int J Solids Struct 10:671–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bai YL, Johnson W (1982) Plugging: physical understanding and energy absorption. Metal Technol 9:182–190Google Scholar
  5. Bishop R, Hill R, Mott NF (1945) The theory of indentation and hardness tests. Proc R Soc 57:147–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borvik T, Langseth M, Hopperstad OS, Malo KA (1999) Ballistic penetration of steel plates. Int J Impact Eng 22:885–886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borvik T, Langseth M, Hopperstad OP, Malo KA (2002) Perforation of 12 mm thick steel plates by 20 mm diameter projectiles with blunt, hemispherical and conical noses. Int J Impact Eng 27:19–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borvik T, Hopperstad OS, Langseth M, Malo KA (2003) Effect of target thickness in blunt projectile penetration of Weldox 460-E steel plates. Int J Impact Eng 28:413–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Borvik T, Clausen AH, Hopperstad OS, Langseth M (2004) Perforation of AA5083-H116 aluminum plates with conical nosed steel projectiles-experimental study. Int J Impact Eng 30:367–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Borvik T, Forrestal MJ, Hopperstad OS, Warren TL, Langseth M (2009) Perforation of AA5083-H116 aluminum plates with conical-nosed steel projectiles-calculations. Int J Impact Eng 36:426–437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Borvik T, Hopperstad OS, Pederson KO (2010) Quasi-brittle fracture during structural impact of AA7075-T651 aluminum plates. Int J Impact Eng 37:537–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cheeseman BA, Gooch WA, Burkins MS (2008) Ballistic evaluation of aluminum 2139-T8. Proceedings of the 24th international symposium on ballistics, New Orleans, Sept 2008, pp 651–659Google Scholar
  13. Chen YJ, Meyers MA, Nesterenko VF (1999) Spontaneous and forced shear localization in high deformation of tantalum. Mater Sci Eng 70:268Google Scholar
  14. Corbett GG, Reid SR, Johnson W (1996) Impact loading of plates and shells by free-flying projectiles: a review. Int J Impact Eng 18:141–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dey S, Borvik T, Hopperstad OS, Leinum JR, Langseth M (2004) The effect of target strength on the perforation of steel plates using three different projectile nose shapes. Int J Impact Eng 30:10005–1038CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dey S, Borvik T, Teng X, Wierzbicki T, Hopperstad OS (2007) On the ballistic resistance of double layered steel plates: an experimental and numerical investigation. Int J Solids Struct 44:6701–6723zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fair H (1987) Hypervelocity then and now. Int J Impact Eng 5:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Flockhart CJ, Woodward RL, Lam YC, O’Donell RG (1991) The use of velocity discontinuities to define shear failure trajectories in dynamic plastic deformations. Int J Impact Eng 11:93–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Forrestal MJ, Rosenberg Z, Luk VK, Bless SJ (1987) Perforation of aluminum plates by conical nosed projectiles. J App Mech 54:230–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Forrestal MJ, Luk VK, Brar NS (1990) Perforation of aluminum armor plates with conical nosed projectiles. Mech Mater 10:97–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Forrestal MJ, Borvik T, Warren TL (2010) Perforation of 7075-T651 aluminum armor plates with 7.62 mm APM2 bullets. Exp Mech 50:1245–1251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gogolewski RP, Cunningham BJ, Riddle RA (1996) On the importance of target material interfaces during low speed impact. In: Proceedings of the 16th international symposium on ballistics, San Francisco, vol 3, Sept 1996, pp 751–760Google Scholar
  23. Goldsmith W, Finnegan SA (1971) Penetration and perforation processes in metal targets at and above ballistic limits. Int J Mech Sci 13:843–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gupta NK, Madhu V (1997) An experimental study of normal and oblique impact of hard-core projectile on single and layered plates. Int J Impact Eng 19:395–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hermann W, Wilbeck JS (1987) Review of hypervelocity penetration theories. Int J Impact Eng 5:307–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lambert JP, Jonas GH (1976) Towards standardization in terminal ballistics testing. Ballistic Research Laboratories Report No. 1852 (ADA-021389)Google Scholar
  27. Landkof B, Goldsmith W (1985) Petalling of thin metallic plates during penetration by cylindro-conical projectiles. Int J Solids Struct 21:245–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li JR, Yu JL, Wu ZG (2003) Influence of specimen geometry on adiabatic shear instability of tungsten heavy alloys. Int J Impact Eng 28:303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Liss J, Goldsmith W, Kelly JM (1983) A phenomenological penetration model of plates. Int J Impact Eng 1:321–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Liu D, Stronge WJ (2000) Ballistic limit of metallic plates struck by blunt deformable missiles: experiments. Int J Solids Struct 37:1403–1423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Marom I, Bodner SR (1979) Projectile perforation of multi-layered beams. Int J Mech Sci 21:489–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Piekutowski AJ (1996) Formation and description of debris clouds produced by hypervelocity impact. NASA contract report 4707, Feb 1996Google Scholar
  33. Piekutowski AJ, Forrestal MJ, Poormon KL, Warren TL (1996) Perforation of aluminum plates with ogive nosed steel rods at normal and oblique impacts. Int J Impact Eng 18:877–887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ravid M, Bodner SR (1983) Dynamic perforation of viscoplastic plates by rigid projectiles. Int J Eng Sci 21:577–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Recht R, Ipson TW (1963) Ballistic perforation dynamics. J App Mech 30:384–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rice JR, Levy N (1969) Local heating by plastic deformation of a crack tip. In: Argon AS (ed) Physics of strength and plasticity. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 277–293Google Scholar
  37. Rittel D, Wang ZG, Dorogoy A (2008) Geometrical imperfection and adiabatic shear banding. Int J Impact Eng 35:1280–1292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rosenberg Z, Dekel E (2009b) On the deep penetration and plate perforation by rigid projectiles. Int J Solids Struct 46:4169–4180zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rosenberg Z, Dekel E (2010c) Revisiting the perforation of ductile plates by sharp-nosed rigid projectiles. Int J Solids Struct 47:3022–3033zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rosenberg Z, Ashuach Y, Kreif R (2010) The effect of specimen dimensions on the propensity to adiabatic shear failure in Kolsky bar experiments. Rev Mater 15:316–324Google Scholar
  41. Senf H, Weimann K (1973) Die wirkung von stahlkugeln auf dural–einfach–und mehrplattenziele. EMI report no. V6-73 (in German)Google Scholar
  42. Swift HF (1982) Image forming instruments. In: Zukas JA, Nicholas T, Swift HF, Greszczuk LB, Curran DR (eds) Impact dynamics. Wiley, New York, pp 241–275Google Scholar
  43. Tabor D (1951) The hardness of metals. Oxford University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. Teng XQ, Dey S, Borvik T, Wierzbicki T (2007) Protection perforation of double-layered metal shields against projectile impact. J Mech Mater Struct 2:1309–1330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thomson WT (1955) An approximate theory of armor penetration. J Appl Phys 26:80–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wen HM, Jones N (1996) Low velocity perforation of punch impact loaded plates. J Press Vessel Technol 118:181–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Whipple FL (1947) Meteorites and space travel. Astron J, No. 1161, Feb 1947, p 131Google Scholar
  48. Wierzbicki T (1999) Petalling of plates under explosive and impact loading. Int J Impact Eng 22:935–944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wilkins ML (1978) Mechanics of penetration and perforation. Int J Eng Sci 16:793–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wingrove AL (1973) The influence of projectile geometry on adiabatic shear and target failure. Metall Trans 4:1829–1833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Woodward RL (1978) The penetration of metal targets by conical projectiles. Int J Mech Sci 20:349–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Woodward RL (1987) A structural model for thin plate perforation by normal impact of blunt projectiles. Int J Impact Eng 6:128–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Woodward RL (1990) Material failure at high strain rates. In: Zukas JA (ed) High velocity impact dynamics. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, pp 65–126Google Scholar
  54. Woodward RL, Cimpoeru SJ (1998) A study of the perforation of aluminum laminate targets. Int J Impact Eng 21:117–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Woodward RL, De-Morton ME (1976) Penetration of targets by a flat-ended projectile. Int J Mech Sci 18:119–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Woodward RL, Baxter BJ, Scarlett NV (1984) Mechanics of adiabatic shear plugging in high strength aluminum and titanium alloys. Proceedings of the third conference on the mechanical properties of materials at high rates of strain, Oxford, April 1984, Institute of Physics Conference Series No. 70, pp 525–532Google Scholar
  57. Zener C, Hollomon JH (1944) Effect of strain rate upon plastic flow of steel. J Appl Phys 15:22–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ballistics CenterRAFAELHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations