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Blast and Frag Response of Composite Metal Foam Armor Systems

JACOB MARX, MARC PORTANOVA, AFSANEH RABIEI

Abstract


This study analyses the use of composite metal foam (CMF) to mitigate the damage caused by blast and fragmentation threats. A major threat to military and civilians in war-torn regions is the increasing use of improvised explosive devices (IED’s). These explosives can cause damage to equipment and injure solders through blast wave propagation and fragment penetration. In order to minimize such injuries and damages, advanced materials with high-energy absorption capabilities are needed. In this study, steel composite metal foam panels with extra-ordinary energy absorption capabilities have been tested in various thicknesses to defeat 23 x 152 mm High Explosive Incendiary rounds (HEI). The incendiary round impacts an initial target (a thin aluminum plate) creating a blast wave and fragment particles of various sizes (small, medium and large) that will then impact the CMF panels positioned approximately 45 centimeters away from the target aluminum panel. In addition to the experimental approaches, the CMF system is modeled using IMPETUS Afea Solver for validation. Both the experimental and modeling results indicated that composite metal foam panels were able to defeat different sizes of fragments resulted from a 23 x 152 mm HEI round, with fragment speeds reaching up to 1500 m/s.

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