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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2, Issue 4, Pages 273-287

Debris Cloud Material Characterization for Hypervelocity Impacts of Single- and Multimaterial Projectiles on Thin Target Plates

William P. Schonberg

Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA

Received 17 May 1994; Accepted 6 January 1995

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The key to conducting an accurate damage assessment of a target impacted by a high speed projectile is the use of a robust assessment methodology. To accurately determine total target damage, a damage assessment methodology must include the effects of discrete impacts by solid debris cloud fragments as well as impulsive loadings due to molten and vaporous debris cloud material. As a result, the amount of debris cloud material in each of the three states of matter must be known to accurately assess total target damage and break-up due to a high speed impact. This article presents a first-principles based method to calculate: the amount of material in a debris cloud created by a perforating hypervelocity impact that is solid, molten, and vaporous; the debris cloud leading edge, trailing edge, center-of-mass, and expansion velocities; and the angular spread of the debris cloud material. The predictions of this methodology are compared against those of empirically based lethality assessment schemes as well as numerical and empirical results obtained in previous studies of debris cloud formation.