Effect of Curvature on Penetration Resistance of Polycarbonate Panels

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Three-dimensional transient deformations of clamped flat and doubly curved polycarbonate (PC) panels impacted by a rigid smooth hemispherical-nosed circular cylinder have been numerically studied by the finite-element (FE) method to delineate effects of the panel radius of curvature to its thickness ratio on their penetration resistance. The PC is modeled as thermoelastoviscoplastic with the effective plastic strain rate depending upon the hydrostatic pressure. The effective plastic strain of 3.0 at failure is ascertained by matching for one set of flat panels the computed and the experimental minimum perforation speeds. It is found that a negative curvature (i.e., the center of curvature toward the impactor) of a panel degrades its penetration performance, and the positive curvature enhances it especially for thin panels with thickness/radius of curvature of 0.01. However, the benefit is less evident for panels with the panel thickness/radius of curvature of 0.04 or more. For positively curved thin panels, an elastic hinge forms around the central impacted area during an early stage of deformations, and subsequent deformations occur within this region. No such hinge is observed for flat plates, negatively curved panels of all the thicknesses, and positively curved thick panels. Furthermore, the maximum effective stress induced in regions surrounding the impacted area is less for positively curved panels than that for flat panels. The dominant failure mechanism is found to be the deletion of failed elements due to the effective plastic strain in them exceeding 3.0 rather than due to plug formation. For an example problem, the dependence of the effective plastic strain rate upon the hydrostatic pressure and the consideration of the Coulomb friction at the contact surfaces exhibited minimal effects on the penetration characteristics. This information should be useful for designers of impact-resistant transparent armor, such as an airplane canopy, automobile windshield, and goggles.