The impact protection systems have traditionally been developed with metallic materials and structural protection applied in the automotive sector; while personal protection systems and composite systems evolve very fast, these systems have a large increase in applications due mainly to the amplitude of the manufacturing process. In the composite system for impact protection, it exposes both functionality and the rigid systems, aimed at structural protection, and flexible systems for personal protection. Nowadays, the development of materials with ballistic applications has emphasized protection of lightweight materials, for protection against projectiles of high and low speeds, among which are the bullets from weapons, fragments of tempered steel grenade hand or aircraft fragments, or a vehicle at high speed directly against housing and human integrity. It is necessary to investigate the mechanisms of fracture of the materials usually used for protection against impact, thus, it is possible to obtain important design systems that reduce the probability of failure and protect human lives and reduce damage to infrastructure information. In this chapter, the behavior of laminate sandwich-type systems, made from handcrafted ceramic plates with sheets of polyethylene (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, UHWMPE) against the impact of a metallic projectile, has been explored. The experimental work was made of two groups with different arrangements: the first group with the side that receives the impact of ceramic material (silicon carbide, SiC)-backed polymeric material and the second group with the side that receives the impact on polymer-backed ceramic material, the plates had dimensions 200 mm2 of thickness to 5 mm for single plates and 20 mm for double plates. The experimental test was performed following the parameters of impact of NIJ III A standard. Some mechanisms (morphologies) of dissipation of kinetic energy received in the components were identified, as cited below, first in the ceramic material the formation of a crater, fracture, and delamination was observed, formed in the double and simple plates. Later, in the fabric polymeric material deformation mechanisms, such as the origination of defibrillation, conical geometry formation, delamination, twisting, and melting fibers due to the tribological contact of the metal shell impact, were observed. The exploration was culminated making a comparison between the arrangement that had higher energy absorption compared to an additional system designed with a ceramic (SiC) with less porosity, also aside to this chapter, it shows some of the deformed projectiles with a basic description of the fracture obtained after the impact, complementing the overall analysis of the systems used.
Part of the book: Fracture Mechanics