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Investigation into Ballistic Performance of Environmentally Conditioned Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) Composite Armour



In this work, the long term ballistic stability of UHMWPE composites were investigated by the accelerated ageing of samples in an oven, to replicate the hot conditions that can occur in military vehicles when used in hot climates. The aged specimens were periodically removed from an oven at 60oC and subjected to ballistic impact from 5.56 x 45 SS109 projectiles, in both the hot and cooled condition, in order to determine the specimens V50 ballistic impact velocity and thus identify any change in ballistic performance against exposure time. The ballistic results for aged glass fibre composites in a thermosetting resin were also determined allowing conclusions on a multi-layer armour system to be made. The completed work demonstrated that, for the systems investigated, ageing did not reduce the resistance of the fibre reinforced composite materials to ballistic penetration for assessed projectiles.

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