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Perforation of Thin Aluminum Targets Under Hypervelocity Impact of Aluminum Spherical Projectiles

Behavior analysis of thin metallic plates is a complex problem, especially when the plates are subjected to spherical projectiles impact. There are limitations in employing statistical regression, which was used in empirical models of the studied literature. The data used in the present analysis is largely from Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Space Debris Impact Facility (SDIF), and mainly involves aluminum projectiles and aluminum targets. The use of data covering a large range of projectile diameter, plate thickness, and a wide range of velocities greatly enhances the scope of the present study. The paper presents an exhaustive analysis of the experimental data available in literature on the strike of cylindrical projectiles on thin plates. The data available in literature for the prediction of hole diameter in thin aluminum plates by spherical aluminum projectiles has been analyzed for highlighting the gaps in the experimental studies. Metallic targets for the prediction of hole diameter in the target have been analyzed. The projectile hole size in space inspection was also studied. The hole is circular for normal strike and elliptical for oblique strike, and the diameter of the hole is usually greater than the projectile diameter. The influence of the velocity of strike of projectile on the diameter of the hole formed in the plate has been investigated. The angle of strike has very little influence on the diameter of the hole. The discrepancies in the test data used in the analysis have been highlighted. A nondimensional model for the prediction of hole diameter is developed, which incorporates the geometric and material properties of the target as well as the projectile and the angle of strike of the projectile. The proposed model not only works well for different materials independently but also for all materials data of both normal and oblique strike. The influence of the velocity of strike on hole diameter has been studied by extracting data sets with the same parameters (diameter, shape of hole, velocity, and angle of strike), and the performance of various models with respect to the variation in velocity has been studied for a wide range of velocity. It has been demonstrated through this study that most of the historical models either underpredict or overpredict the hole diameter for some range of velocity, but the proposed model works well for whole range of velocity.

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