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An Experimental Study Investigating the Response of Bolts to Ballistic Events



Bolts are a common method of integrating vehicle applique armor on ground vehicle platforms. During ballistic events, bolts closest to the impact location have the potential to stretch and fracture as a result of the large forces imparted to the armor panels. Fractured bolts no longer constrain the armor as required for ballistic protection and may cause vehicle vulnerabilities. Tank-Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) initiated a study to quantify the forces in the bolts during a ballistic event and explore the factors that influence the forces. This was successfully achieved using instrumented bolts. Multiple configurations were tested to identify trends in the bolt response. The approach was successful in measuring the transmitted forces and identifying variables that influence the magnitude of response. This paper summarizes the testing that occurred and the results of the effort.

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