Elastomer-metal laminate armor
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A study was carried out of pressure wave transmission and the ballistic penetration of steel substrates incorporating a front-face laminate, the latter consisting of alternating layers of thin metal and a soft polymer; the latter undergoes a viscoelastic phase transition on impact. The ballistic properties of laminate/steel structures are substantially better than conventional military armor. This enhanced performance has three origins: large energy absorption by the viscoelastic polymer, a significant strain-hardening of the material, and lateral spreading of the impact force. These mechanisms, active only at high strain rates, depend on the chemical structure of the polymer but not on the particular metal used in the laminate.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matdes.2016.08.072
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