Characterization of Composite Spaced Armor Performance

Photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton Swanbeck

Presented: September 23, 2020 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm Presenter: Sierra I. Semel Host: DSIAC

Composite spaced armor is an unconventional armor system capable of stopping armor-piercing projectiles at lower areal density than possible with traditional metallic and ceramic armor systems, which makes it especially attractive for weight-sensitive applications.  Prior testing of this armor system at normal obliquity has shown that it has great potential to reduce weight in aircraft systems while providing improved ballistics protection.  The anisotropic nature of this composite spaced armor further differentiates it from traditional metallic and ceramic systems because its directionally-dependent mechanical properties cause performance to vary with obliquity.  Ballistics testing evaluated normal and oblique angle impacts to quantify performance at a range of shot lines.  Results indicate that for a limited range of oblique shot lines, the tumble of the bullet is reduced, resulting in degraded performance of the armor.  However, this can be mitigated through system-level design and careful integration or eliminated with technology solutions.