Impact Behaviour of UHMWPE Woven Fabric Reinforced Composite Laminates James E.

James Beer

Abstract


The excellent penetration resistance and strength-to weight ratio (15 times greater
than some steels) make ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) the
optimum material for battlefield armour that does not compromise mobility. Reinforcing
composites with woven UHMWPE fabric is the simplest mechanism of promoting these
properties; however, plates comprising unidirectional plies in a 0°/90° cross-ply lay-up are
more common. Whilst unidirectional composites currently exhibit superior penetration
resistance and energy absorption qualities, further research with a focus on woven fabric
reinforced composites would be beneficial to engineers and composites researchers. The
matrix and reinforcement properties – as well as the compatibility and interaction
between the two – dominate the properties of the composite. Since the matrix has a large
influence on the properties of the composite, research on the effects of the matrix on the
penetration resistance capabilities of woven fabric reinforced composites is of great
importance. Improving the penetration resistance and energy absorption properties of
composites by varying the matrix material is the focus of this study, which will begin to
bridge the gap between woven fabric reinforced composites and their unidirectional
counterparts. Numerical modelling of impact tests of various UHMWPE composites is
essential in order to cost-effectively conduct accurate and time effective preliminary
testing of UHMWPE woven fabric reinforced composite laminates. The study showed that
there is some relationship between the tensile response of a composite material and its
impact behaviour.

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