0
Research Papers

Modeling of Advanced Combat Helmet Under Ballistic Impact

[+] Author and Article Information
Y. Q. Li

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Southern Methodist University,
P. O. Box 750337,
Dallas, TX 75275-0337

X. G. Li

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Southern Methodist University,
P. O. Box 750337,
Dallas, TX 75275-0337;
Division of Neuronic Engineering,
School of Technology and Health,
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH),
Huddinge 141 52, Sweden

X.-L. Gao

Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Southern Methodist University,
P. O. Box 750337,
Dallas, TX 75275-0337
e-mail: xlgao@smu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received May 9, 2015; final manuscript received July 16, 2015; published online August 12, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Weinong Chen.

J. Appl. Mech 82(11), 111004 (Aug 12, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: JAM-15-1235; doi: 10.1115/1.4031095 History: Received May 09, 2015

The use of combat helmets has greatly reduced penetrating injuries and saved lives of many soldiers. However, behind helmet blunt trauma (BHBT) has emerged as a serious injury type experienced by soldiers in battlefields. BHBT results from nonpenetrating ballistic impacts and is often associated with helmet back face deformation (BFD). In the current study, a finite element-based computational model is developed for simulating the ballistic performance of the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH), which is validated against the experimental data obtained at the Army Research Laboratory. Both the maximum value and time history of the BFD are considered, unlike existing studies focusing on the maximum BFD only. The simulation results show that the maximum BFD, the time history of the BFD, and the shape and size of the effective area of the helmet shell agree fairly well with the experimental findings. In addition, it is found that ballistic impacts on the helmet at different locations and in different directions result in different BFD values. The largest BFD value is obtained for a frontal impact, which is followed by that for a crown impact and then by that for a lateral impact. Also, the BFD value is seen to decrease as the oblique impact angle decreases. Furthermore, helmets of four different sizes—extra large, large, medium, and small—are simulated and compared. It is shown that at the same bullet impact velocity the small-size helmet has the largest BFD, which is followed by the medium-size helmet, then by the large-size helmet, and finally by the extra large-size helmet. Moreover, ballistic impact simulations are performed for an ACH placed on a ballistic dummy head form embedded with clay as specified in the current ACH testing standard by using the validated helmet model. It is observed that the BFD values as recorded by the clay in the head form are in good agreement with the experimental data.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Walsh, S. M. , Scott, B. R. , and Spagnuolo, D. M. , 2005, “The Development of a Hybrid Thermoplastic Ballistic Material With Application to Helmets,” U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, Report No. ARL-TR-3700.
Kulkarni, S. , Gao, X.-L. , Horner, S. , Zheng, J. Q. , and David, N. V. , 2013, “Ballistic Helmets—Their Design, Materials, and Performance Against Traumatic Brain Injury,” Compos. Struct., 101, pp. 313–331. [CrossRef]
Carroll, A. W. , and Soderstrom, C. A. , 1978, “A New Nonpenetrating Ballistic Injury,” Ann. Surg., 188(6), pp. 753–757. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Sarron, J.-C. , Caillou, J.-P. , Da Cunha, J. , Allain, J.-C. , and Tramecon, A. , 2000, “Consequences of Nonpenetrating Projectile Impact on a Protected Head: Study of Rear Effects of Protections,” J. Trauma, 49(5), pp. 923–929. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Cannon, L. , 2001, “Behind Armour Blunt Trauma—An Emerging Problem,” J. R. Army Med. Corps, 147(1), pp. 87–96. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hisley, D. M. , Gurganus, J. C. , and Drysdale, A. W. , 2011, “Experimental Methodology Using Digital Image Correlation to Assess Ballistic Helmet Blunt Trauma,” ASME J. Appl. Mech., 78(5), p. 051022. [CrossRef]
Prat, N. , Rongieras, F. , Sarron, J.-C. , Miras, A. , and Voiglio, E. , 2012, “Contemporary Body Armor: Technical Data, Injuries, and Limits,” Eur. J. Trauma Emergency Surg., 38(2), pp. 95–105. [CrossRef]
Freitas, C. J. , Mathis, J. T. , Scott, N. , Bigger, R. P. , and MacKiewicz, J. , 2014, “Dynamic Response due to Behind Helmet Blunt Trauma Measured With a Human Head Surrogate,” Int. J. Med. Sci., 11(5), pp. 409–425. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Rafaels, K. A. , Cutcliffe, H. C. , Salzar, R. S. , Davis, M. , Boggess, B. , Bush, B. , Harris, R. , Rountree, M. S. , Sanderson, E. , Campman, S. , Koch, S. , and Dale Bass, C. R. , 2015, “Injuries of the Head From Backface Deformation of Ballistic Protective Helmets Under Ballistic Impact,” J. Forensic Sci., 60(1), pp. 219–225. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Young, L. , Rule, G. T. , Bocchieri, R. T. , Walilko, T. J. , Burns, J. , and Ling, G. , 2015, “When Physics Meets Biology: Low and High Velocity Penetration, Blunt Trauma and Blast Injuries to the Brain,” Front. Neurol., 6, p. 89. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Committee, 2014, Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets, Committee on Review of Test Protocols Used by the DoD to Test Combat Helmets, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, pp. 25–38.
Vargas-Gonzalez, L. , Walsh, S. M. , and Wolbert, J. , 2011, “Impact and Ballistic Response of Hybridized Thermoplastic Laminates,” U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, Report No. ARL-MR-0769.
Chocron, S. , King, N. , Bigger, R. , Walker, J. , Heisserer, U. , and van der Werff, H. , 2013, “Impacts and Waves in Dyneema® HB80 Strips and Laminates,” ASME J. Appl. Mech., 80(3), p. 031806. [CrossRef]
Freitas, C. J. , Bigger, R. P. , Scott, N. , LaSala, V. , and MacKiewicz, J. , 2014, “Composite Materials Dynamic Back Face Deflection Characteristics During Ballistic Impact,” J. Compos. Mater., 48(12), pp. 1475–1486. [CrossRef]
Khalil, T. B. , Goldsmith, W. , and Sackman, J. , 1974, “Impact on a Model Head-Helmet System,” Int. J. Mech. Sci., 16(9), pp. 609–625. [CrossRef]
van Hoof, J. , 1999, “Modelling of Impact Induced Delamination in Composite Materials,” Ph.D. dissertation, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
van Hoof, J. , and Worswick, M. , 2001, “Combining Head Models With Composite Models to Simulate Ballistic Impacts,” Defense R&D Canada, Defence Research Establishment Valcartier, Val-Belair, QC, Canada, Contract Report No. DREV CR 2000-160.
van Hoof, J. , Cronin, D. , Worswick, M. , Williams, K. , and Nandlall, D. , 2001, “Numerical Head and Composite Helmet Models to Predict Blunt Trauma,” 19th International Symposium on Ballistics, Interlaken, Switzerland, May 7–11.
Baumgartner, D. , and Willinger, R. , 2005, “Finite Element Modelling of Human Head Injuries Caused by Ballistic Projectiles,” Rev. Eur. Élé., 14(4-5), pp. 559–576.
Aare, M. , and Kleiven, S. , 2007, “Evaluation of Head Response to Ballistic Helmet Impacts Using the Finite Element Method,” Int. J. Impact Eng., 34(3), pp. 596–608. [CrossRef]
Lee, H. , and Gong, S. , 2010, “Finite Element Analysis for the Evaluation of Protective Functions of Helmets Against Ballistic Impact,” Comput. Methods Biomech. Biomed. Eng., 13(5), pp. 537–550. [CrossRef]
Tan, L. B. , Tse, K. M. , Lee, H. P. , Tan, V. B. C. , and Lim, S. P. , 2012, “Performance of an Advanced Combat Helmet With Different Interior Cushioning Systems in Ballistic Impact: Experiments and Finite Element Simulations,” Int. J. Impact Eng., 50(1), pp. 99–112. [CrossRef]
Jazi, M. S. , Rezaei, A. , Karami, G. , Azarmi, F. , and Ziejewski, M. , 2014, “A Computational Study of Influence of Helmet Padding Materials on the Human Brain Under Ballistic Impacts,” Comput. Methods Biomech. Biomed. Eng., 17(12), pp. 1368–1382. [CrossRef]
Tse, K. , Tan, L. , Yang, B. , Tan, V. , Lim, S. , and Lee, H. , 2014, “Ballistic Impacts of a Full-Metal Jacketed (FMJ) Bullet on a Validated Finite Element (FE) Model of Helmet-Cushion-Head,” 5th International Conference on Computational Methods (ICCM2014), Cambridge, UK, July 28–30.
U.S. Dept. of the Army, 2010, “Operator's Manual for Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH),” U.S. Department of the Army, Washington, DC, Technical Manual No. TM 10-8470-204-10.
LS-DYNA, 2015, “ mat162: A Progressive Composite Damage Model for Unidirectional and Woven Fabric Composites,” MAT162 User's Manual Version 15A-2015, available at: http://www.ccm.udel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/MAT162-USER-MANUAL-Version-15A-2015.pdf
Jones, R. M. , 1999, Mechanics of Composite Materials, 2nd ed., Taylor & Francis, New York.
Gao, X.-L. , 2001, “Two Displacement Methods for In-Plane Deformations of Orthotropic Linear Elastic Materials,” Z. Angew. Math. Phys., 52(5), pp. 810–822. [CrossRef]
Xiao, J. R. , Gama, B. A. , and Gillespie, Jr., J. W. , 2007, “Progressive Damage and Delamination in Plain Weave S-2 Glass/SC-15 Composites Under Quasi-Static Punch-Shear Loading,” Compos. Struct., 78(2), pp. 182–196. [CrossRef]
Gama, B. A. , and Gillespie, Jr., J. W. , 2011, “Finite Element Modeling of Impact, Damage Evolution and Penetration of Thick-Section Composites,” Int. J. Impact Eng., 38(4), pp. 181–197. [CrossRef]
Carrillo, J. , Gamboa, R. , Flores-Johnson, E. , and Gonzalez-Chi, P. , 2012, “Ballistic Performance of Thermoplastic Composite Laminates Made From Aramid Woven Fabric and Polypropylene Matrix,” Polym. Test., 31(4), pp. 512–519. [CrossRef]
Jordan, J. B. , Naito, C. J. , and Haque, B. Z. G. , 2014, “Progressive Damage Modeling of Plain Weave E-Glass/Phenolic Composites,” Composites Part B, 61, pp. 315–323. [CrossRef]
Wang, Y. , and Xia, Y. , 1998, “The Effects of Strain Rate on the Mechanical Behaviour of Kevlar Fibre Bundles: An Experimental and Theoretical Study,” Composites Part A, 29(11), pp. 1411–1415. [CrossRef]
Lim, J. , Zheng, J. Q. , Masters, K. , and Chen, W. W. , 2011, “Effects of Gage Length, Loading Rates, and Damage on the Strength of PPTA Fibers,” Int. J. Impact Eng., 38(4), pp. 219–227. [CrossRef]
Bilisik, A. K. , and Turhan, Y. , 2009, “Multidirectional Stitched Layered Aramid Woven Fabric Structures and Their Experimental Characterization of Ballistic Performance,” Text. Res. J., 79(14), pp. 1331–1343. [CrossRef]
Zhu, D. , Mobasher, B. , and Rajan, S. D. , 2011, “Dynamic Tensile Testing of Kevlar 49 Fabrics,” J. Mater. Civ. Eng., 23(3), pp. 230–239. [CrossRef]
Zhang, L. , Makwana, R. , and Sharma, S. , 2013, “Brain Response to Primary Blast Wave Using Validated Finite Element Models of Human Head and Advanced Combat Helmet,” Front. Neurol., 4, p. 88. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Gower, H. , Cronin, D. , and Plumtree, A. , 2008, “Ballistic Impact Response of Laminated Composite Panels,” Int. J. Impact Eng., 35(9), pp. 1000–1008. [CrossRef]
Zhu, G. Q. , Goldsmith, W. , and Dharan, C. K. H. , 1992, “Penetration of Laminated Kevlar by Projectiles—I. Experimental Investigation,” Int. J. Solids Struct., 29(4), pp. 399–420. [CrossRef]
Moss, W. C. , and King, M. J. , 2011, “Impact Response of U.S. Army and National Football League Helmet Pad Systems,” Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, Report No. LLNL-SR-464951.
Fitek, J. , and Meyer, E. , 2013, “Design of a Helmet Liner for Improved Low Velocity Impact Protection,” U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, MA, Technical Report No. Natick/TR-13/016.
National Institute of Justice, 1981, NIJ Standard for Ballistic Helmets, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, Standard No. 0106.01.
Johnson, G. R. , and Cook, W. H. , 1983, “A Constitutive Model and Data for Metals Subjected to Large Strains, High Strain Rates and High Temperatures,” 7th International Symposium on Ballistics, The Hague, The Netherlands, Apr. 19–21, pp. 541–547.
Li, K. , Gao, X.-L. , and Sutherland, J. , 2002, “Finite Element Simulation of the Orthogonal Metal Cutting Process for Qualitative Understanding of the Effects of Crater Wear on the Chip Formation Process,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 127(3), pp. 309–324. [CrossRef]
Børvik, T. , Dey, S. , and Clausen, A. , 2009, “Perforation Resistance of Five Different High-Strength Steel Plates Subjected to Small-Arms Projectiles,” Int. J. Impact Eng., 36(7), pp. 948–964. [CrossRef]
Steinberg, D. , Cochran, S. , and Guinan, M. , 1980, “A Constitutive Model for Metals Applicable at High-Strain Rate,” J. Appl. Phys., 51(3), pp. 1498–1504. [CrossRef]
Steinberg, D. , 1991, “Equation of State and Strength Properties of Selected Materials,” Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, Report No. UCRL-MA-106439.
Sturdivan, L. M. , Viano, D. , and Champion, H. , 2004, “Analysis of Injury Criteria to Assess Chest and Abdominal Injury Risks in Blunt and Ballistic Impacts,” J. Trauma Inj. Infect. Crit. Care., 56(3), pp. 651–663. [CrossRef]
Committee, 2001, Testing of Body Armor Materials: Phase III, Committee on Testing of Body Armor Materials for Use by the U.S. Army—Phase III, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 150–168.
Roberts, J. C. , Ward, E. E. , Merkle, A. C. , and O'Connor, J. V. , 2007, “Assessing Behind Armor Blunt Trauma in Accordance With the National Institute of Justice Standard for Personal Body Armor Protection Using Finite Element Modeling,” J. Trauma Acute Care Surg., 62(5), pp. 1127–1133. [CrossRef]
Bae, G. , Xiong, Y. , Kumar, S. , Kang, K. , and Lee, C. , 2008, “General Aspects of Interface Bonding in Kinetic Sprayed Coatings,” Acta Mater., 56(17), pp. 4858–4868. [CrossRef]
Hisley, D. , Gurganus, J. , Lee, J. , Williams, S. , and Drysdale, A. , 2010, “Experimental Methodology Using Digital Image Correlation (DIC) to Assess Ballistic Helmet Blunt Trauma,” Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, Report No. ARL-TR-0000.
Gao, X.-L. , and Mall, S. , 2000, “A Two-Dimensional Rule-of-Mixtures Micromechanics Model for Woven Fabric Composites,” ASTM J. Compos. Technol. Res., 22, pp. 60–70. [CrossRef]
Cheeseman, B. , and Bogetti, T. , 2003, “Ballistic Impact Into Fabric and Compliant Composite Laminates,” Compos. Struct., 61(1-2), pp. 161–173. [CrossRef]
Li, X. G. , Gao, X.-L. , and Kleiven, S. , 2015, “Evaluation of Behind Helmet Blunt Trauma Induced by Ballistic Impact,” (to be published).

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) FE mesh of a large-size ACH shell and (b) FE mesh of foam pads. Here, “1” and “2” represent the two in-plane directions and “3” stands for the thickness direction.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Dimensions (left) and FE mesh (right) of an FMJ bullet. All dimensions are in mm.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Ballistic dummy head form with a clay insert. From left to right, the geometry, FE mesh of the dummy head, FE model of the dummy head form with clay embedded, and the final assembly of the helmet on the dummy head form. The geometry is adopted from Ref. [11].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) The time sequence of the impact events showing the deformation of the helmet shell and the bullet, and (b) the deformation of the helmet shell when the BFD reaches its maximum

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

(a) The BFD viewed from inside, (b) the time history of the BFD, and (c) the velocity profile. The experimental data plotted for comparison are obtained from Ref. [6].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

(a) The energy conversion in the system, and (b) the distribution of the internal energy in the helmet shell and bullet

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Different damage modes of the helmet shell under ballistic impact when the BFD reaches its maximum. (a) Fiber damage in the warp direction, (b) fiber damage in the fill direction, (c) fiber crush damage, (d) perpendicular matrix (in-plane shear) damage, and (e) parallel matrix (delamination) damage. Here, f1–f5 represent the damage functions for the respective damage modes defined in Ref. [29] and adopted in mat 162 of ls-dyna [26].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Effects of impact locations and directions on the helmet BFD. The time history of the BFD for the frontal, crown, and lateral (right side) impacts (from upper to lower) is shown on the left, and the time history of the BFD for the right-side oblique impact with an impact angle of 90 deg, 60 deg, and 45 deg (from upper to lower) is displayed on the right.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Effect of helmet size on the BFD. The experimental curve shown is obtained from Ref. [6].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Stand-off distance for the head form/clay at the right-side lateral and crown impact locations (left) and at the frontal impact location (right), as marked by each short rectangular bar. The foam pads between the helmet shell and the dummy head/clay are not shown.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

BFD as recorded by the clay using the dummy head/clay as a fixture for (a) the frontal impact, (b) the crown impact, and (c) the right-side lateral impact

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In