Supplier Spotlight

Video Exclusives

Sonic boom acoustic tests

This video, from a NASA Social event at Armstrong Flight Research Center, shows an F/A-18 producing a regular sonic boom at 0:43 and and then a low “boom” by performing the dive maneuver at 02:34. NASA researchers are preparing for public tests of technology designed to reduce the noise of sonic booms

Click here to watch video

03 July, 2018



Autonomous vehicles explained

Safran’s SimplyFly! light hearted series of video’s takes on autonomous vehicles - how will they work and what are the main challenges? Learn more about the topic by watching this video.

Click here to watch video

20 June, 2018



Space Launch System - in numbers

Discover how engineers are outfitting the world’s most powerful rocket with sensors, cables and other equipment in this 2:40 video.

Click here to watch video

15 May, 2018



 

To watch more videos, click here

The FAA is asking for feedback on its proposed changes to the testing regimes for bird ingestion into engines. But what is the average size of a snow goose, the flocking bird responsible for the 2009 engine incident at LaGuardia the FAA is basing its tests on?

News

Engineers show lightweight steel composite foam is the best armor plating

CMF panelThe CMF panel after the test. The black marks are fragments trapped inside the panel. (Image: NC State University)

 

 

Researchers have successfully shown how steel composite foam offers better protection than existing armor from anti-aircraft rounds, while also weighing less, in a series of tests and simluations.

 

 

The researchers, from North Carolina State University and the US Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, fired high explosive incendiary (HEI) rounds, the type often used in anti-aircraft weapons, into stainless steel composite metal foam (steel-CMF) and detonated them only 18in (450mm) away.

 

The steel-CMF successfully blocked the blast pressure and fragmentation at 5,000ft/sec from the HEI rounds.

 

Afsaneh Rabiei, senior author of the study and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University said, “We found that steel-CMF offers much more protection than all other existing armor materials, while lowering the weight remarkably.

 

“We can provide as much protection as existing steel armor at a fraction of the weight – or provide much more protection at the same weight.

 

For the test, researchers fired a 23 × 152mm HEI round into a 2.3mm-thick aluminum strikeplate. Steel-CMF plates of either 9.5mm or 16.75mm thickness were placed 450mm from the aluminum strikeplate.

 

The researchers assessed that the steel-CMF held up against the wave of blast pressure and against the copper and steel fragments created by the exploding round, as well as aluminum from the strikeplate.

 

“Both thicknesses of steel-CMF stopped the blastwave, and the 16.75mm steel-CMF stopped all of the fragments sizes,” Rabiei said.

 

“The 9.5mm steel-CMF stopped most, but not all, of the fragments. Based on the results, a 10mm steel-CMF plate would have stopped all of the fragment sizes.”

 

“Many military vehicles use armor made of rolled homogeneous steel, which weighs three times as much as our steel-CMF.

 

“Based on tests like these, we believe we can replace that rolled steel with steel-CMF without sacrificing safety, better blocking not only the fragments, but also the blast waves that are responsible for trauma such as major brain injuries. That would reduce vehicle weight significantly, improving fuel mileage and vehicle performance,” Rabiei added.

 

 

Model simulation

 

stress comparison in armor plating
Comparison of the stress distribution in CMF (a,c) and aluminum 5083-H116 (b,d) panels upon interaction with blast wave and fragment impacts

 

 

The researchers also developed computer models of how the steel-CMF plate would perform as part of the study. When compared to the experimental results, the model matched very closely. The researchers then used the model to predict how aluminum 5083 armor – a type already on the market that has a similar weight and thickness to the 16.75mm steel-CMF – would perform against HEI rounds.

 

 

The model showed that, while aluminum armor of similar weight to the steel-CMF panels would stop all of the fragments, the aluminum armor would buckle and allow fragments to penetrate much deeper. This would result in more damage to the panel, transferring large amounts of stress to the soldiers or equipment behind the armor.

 

On the other hand, the steel-CMF absorbs the energy of the blast wave and flying fragments through local deformation of hollow spheres, leaving the steel-CMF armor under considerably less stress – offering more protection against fragments and blast waves.

 

Engineers will next test the steel-CMF against improvised explosive devices and high-caliber, mounted ballistics. The researchers have already tested the CMF’s performance against hand-held assault weapons, radiation and extreme heat.

 

 

The research paper, “A study on blast and fragment resistance of composite metal foams through experimental and modeling approaches,” was published last month in the Journal of Composite Structures.

 

April 11, 2018 

 

Written by Ben Sampson


RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Read Latest Issue

Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusives

Marine Dumont, business development manager, Kistler Instruments outlines how innovation in dynamometers is enabling clearer images of Earth from satellites 
Click here to read more

Steve Drake, NDT market manager for Ashtead Technologies, describes how the rapid deployment of the latest borescope equipment to Africa helped a business aviation operator make tough decisions about a grounded aircraft 
Click here to read more

Hardware-in-the-loop systems have helped to reduce flight testing of Saab's latest fighter jet, writes National Instruments in this case study
Click here to read more

An experiment is set to be launched from the International Space Station this month which turns the normal approach to space on its head – instead of putting things into space, this experiment aims to test ways to take things out of space. 
Click here to read more

Ergonomics and human factors is vital in aircraft but can be overlooked during testing and development. Here Nick discusses the latest trends and developments in cockpit design and testing.
Click here to read more


Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the aerospace testing industry. Want to see your company included? Contact tom.eames@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the aerospace testing community? Good or bad, we'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to anthony.james@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email ben.sampson@ukimediaevents.com