Investigation of Simulation Methodologies for Ultra-High–Molecular-Weight Polyethylene

Investigation of Simulation Methodologies for Ultra-High–Molecular-Weight Polyethylene

Arash Ramezani Hendrik Rothe

Helmut-Schmidt-University / University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg, Germany

1 January 2018
| Citation



This work deals with numerical simulations of impact problems on fiber-based composite armor using the commercial finite-element-code ANSYS AUTODYN. Having presented some basic knowledge on the theory of numerical simulation in AUTODYN, two recently published approaches for modeling impact on the selected composite (Dyneema® HB26) are explained. Although both of them make use of a nonlinear-orthotropic material model implemented in the AUTODYN-code, they differ in the way how the highly inhomogeneous microstructure of HB26 is represented geometrically. Lässig chooses a fully homogeneous description, whereas Nguyen discretizes the composite into sublaminates, which are kinematically joined at the surfaces and breakable when a certain contact-stress is reached. In order to validate the two approaches, the response of HB26-samples impacted by handgun-projectiles was determined experimentally and compared to the corresponding numerical results. Unfortunately, a poor agreement between experimental and numerical results was found, which gave rise to the development of an alternative modeling approach. In doing so, the composite was subdivided into alternating layers of two different types. While the first type of layers was modeled with open-literature properties of UHMWPE-fibers, polymer-matrix-behavior was assigned to the second type. Having adjusted some of the parameters, good agreement between experiment and simulation was found with respect to residual velocity and depth of penetration for the considered impact situations.


armor systems, fiber-reinforced plastics, optimization, simulation models

1. Introduction
2. State-of-the-Art
3. Methods of Space Discretization
4. Ballistic Trials
5. Numerical Simulation
6. Conclusions

[1] Ramezani, A. & Rothe, H. Numerical simulation and experimental model-validation for fiber-reinforced plastics under impact loading - Using the example of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. The Eighth International Conference on Advances in System Simulation (SIMUL 2016) IARIA, August 2016, pp. 17–25, 2016. ISBN 978-1-61208-442-8.

[2] Segala, D.B. & Cavallaro, P.V., Numerical investigation of energy absorption mechanisms in unidirectional composites subjected to dynamic loading events. Computational Materials Science, 81, pp. 303–312, 2014.

[3] Chocron, S., Nicholls, A.E., Brill, A., Malka, A., Namir, T., Havazelet, D., van der Werff, H., Heisserer, U. & Walker, J.D., Modeling unidirectional composites by bundling fibers into strips with experimental determination of shear and compression properties at high pressures. Composites Science and Technology, 101, pp. 32–40, 2014.

[4] Hayhurst, C.J., Hiermaier, S.J., Clegg, R.A., Riedel, W. & Lambert, M., Development of material models for nextel and kevlar-expoxy for high pressures and strain rates. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 23, pp. 365–376, 1999.

[5] Clegg, R.A., White, D.M., Riedel, W., & Harwick, W., Hypervelocity impact damage prediction in composites: Part I—material model and characterisation. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 33, pp. 190–200, 2006.

[6] Riedel, W., Nahme, H., White, D.M., & Clegg, R.A., Hypervelocity impact damage prediction in composites: Part II—experimental investigations and simulations. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 33, pp. 670–680, 2006.

[7] Wicklein, M., Ryan, S., White, D.M. & Clegg, R.A. Hypervelocity impact on CFRP: testing, material modelling, and numerical simulation. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 35, pp. 1861–1869, 2008.

[8] ANSYS. AUTODYN Composite Modelling Release 15.0. [Online]. Available from: 2016.07.08.

[9] Lässig, T., Nguyen, L., May, M., Riedel, W., Heisserer, U., van der Werff, H. & Hiermaier, S., A non-linear orthotropic hydrocode model for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene in impact simulations. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 75, pp. 110–122, 2015.

[10] Nguyen, L.H., Lässig, T.R., Ryan, S., Riedel, W., Mouritz, A. P. & Orifici, A.C., Numerical modelling of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene composite under impact loading. Procedia Engineering, 103, pp. 436–443, 2015.

[11] Zukas, J., Introduction to hydrocodes. Elsevier Science, 2004.

[12] Collins, G.-S. An introduction to hydrocode modeling. Applied modelling and computation group. Imperial College, London, 2002.

[13] Fröhlich, P., FEM application practice. Vieweg Verlag, 2005.

[14] Woyand, H.-B., FEM with CATIA V5. J. Schlembach Fachverlag, 2007.

[15] Carlucci, D.E. & Jacobson, S.S., Ballistics: Theory and design of guns and ammunition. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2008.

[16] Johnson, G. & Cook, W., A constitutive model and data for metals subjected to large strains, high strain rates and high temperatures. 7th International Symposium on Ballistics, pp. 541–547, 1983.

[17] Steinberg, D., Equation of state and strength properties of selected materials. California, 1996.