Bio-Inspired Body Armour


Masters Research Project

This numerical study aims to incorporate the advantageous properties of a biological ceramic, nacre, into body armour, in order to improve the mechanical performance. Through the creation of a finite element model of the disturber, ballistic impact is simulated, allowing the influence of structural geometry on performance to be investigated by obtaining the residual velocity of the projectile.

A parametric study was carried out which considers the effect of the shape of the tiles that represent the platelets, the waviness and resin interface size within the ceramic layer. In comparison with a previous study that uses square tiles, this hexagonal tile model leads to an improved performance as the projectile velocity is reduced in a shorter time. Waviness of the tiles encourages tablet interlocking and the optimum performance occurs when a small amount of waviness is introduced.

Finally, it was also found that varying gap size had a minimal effect on the performance of the material. The general results are in agreement with previous studies carried out, and it can therefore be seen that employing nacre-mimetic mechanisms into an impact situation does have an effect on the performance of body armour.