Target penetration and impact analysis of intermetallic projectiles

Colton Cagle, Kevin J. Hill, Connor Woodruff, Michelle L. Pantoya, Joseph Abraham, Casey Meakin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A High-velocity Impact-ignition Testing System (HITS) was developed to study the dynamic response of intermetallic projectiles penetrating through two aluminum plates at impact velocities up to 1300 m/s. The intermetallic projectiles are contained in a 0.410 caliber shot gun shell and launched from a propellant driven gun into a catch chamber equipped with view ports and imaging diagnostics. Penetration, impact, and reaction are monitored using high-speed cameras that provide macroscopic and localized perspectives of projectile and target interaction. Several key results include the following. The first-plate penetration of the projectile follows well established ballistic curve fits. Subsequent plate penetration shows significant deviations attributed to projectile damage resulting from the first plate impact. The damage imparted to the projectile transitions from significant plastic deformation to severe fragmentation as impact velocity increases. Penetration of the aluminum target plate is significantly affected by the fragmentation field and show a 45% increase in rupture size at the highest impact velocity case. Combustion within the fragmented projectile is observed starting at 850 m/s. These results show the transition in dynamic interaction between multiple target plates at increasing projectile impact velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103427
JournalInternational Journal of Impact Engineering
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Flame spread
  • Fragmentation
  • Intermetallic projectile
  • Penetration
  • Plastic deformation


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