Failure Analysis of DOP Tested Armour Ceramic Tiles


  1. Merati, A.
  2. Bielawski, M.
  3. Simard, B.
  4. Lo, J.
  5. Bosnick, K.
  6. Bolduc, M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
The development of new lightweight materials with improved ballistic performance is paramount for the army of tomorrow. The use of ceramic in personal armour is increasing due to its excellent combination of high hardness and light weight. In this regard, a class of nano-composite ceramic materials with the addition of fibres/nanotubes in layered configurations have shown great potential. Modification of monolithic ceramics, such as alumina, SiC and B4C, with the addition of nanotubes and alumina fibres with a layered configuration resulted in a significant improvement in fracture toughness (up to a 74%), without detrimental effect on hardness. However, the results of ballistic tests did not correlate with the encouraging results of the previously performed quasi-static tests and showed almost no substantial improvement versus monolithic samples at high strain rate impact using depth of penetration (DOP) tests. Failure analysis was performed to understand the differences in failure mechanisms of ceramic composite armours at the two different strain rates. A visual inspection, optical and scanning electron microscopy fracture analysis, ceramography, and brief mechanical property measurements were undertaken to explain the unexpected results and determine the reason for the observed lack of ballistic efficiency in selected samples.
Ceramic failure analysis;Ballistic;Depth of penetration
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2016-P119 — External Literature
Date of publication
07 Dec 2016
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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