Dynamic Behaviour of Dyneema

Dylan Taylor


The design of modern body armour systems is a field which sees constant research and innovation. It is for this reason that UNSW Canberra and Defence Science and Technology Group wish to research the dynamic behaviour of Dyneema® HB26 as a potential alternative armour plating system. Dyneema® is the brand name for a type of Ultra High Molecular Weight Poly-Ethylene fibre that is created by Dutch State Mines and has been shown to exhibit extremely high strength to weight which allows for greater ballistic protection when utilised in a composite plate with a polyethylene matrix material. The aim of this research has been to develop and test an experimental set up to determine the spall strength of Dyneema® HB26 in order to validate current numerical models. The spall strength of this material is of particular interest as minimal research has been conducted on it in the past and it has a strong effect on the ballistic properties of the material. This research has been conducted utilising the light gas gun housed at UNSW Canberra to conduct plate impact experiments with limited success. The experimental set-up has been developed through multiple iterations, each with increasing accuracy and the cause of any discrepancies have been discussed, and for the majority, resolved. The attained results have been lower than anticipated however a spall strength of 3.32MPa for Dyneema® HB26 has been determined over the course of this research.

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