The Development of Nanoclay-Epoxy Composite for Application in Ballistic Protection
The objective of this research is to develop protection from high velocity projectile and blast load for commercial passenger automobiles such as VIP cars and the Armored Trucks which collect Cash from Banks and shops. Nano-material reinforced composites offer a good opportunity for developing a high velocity impact and blast protection to the commercial cars and trucks from projectiles and blast loads. These methods can be used for homeland security vehicles also. At first, a modeling, simulation, and design tool for nano-composites was developed to predict, with accepted fidelity, nano-composite behaviors. Using a unit cell model created for nanoclay-epoxy composites, the effect of nanoparticle distribution on the maximum stress developed in epoxy resin was investigated with the Meshfree Particle Method. The ensemble average of mechanical property for nanoclay-epoxy composite was studied. The increase in the me1chanical property for nanoclay-reinforced epoxy was evidenced from the simulations. It is found that statistical analysis is crucial to predict the performance of nanoparticle reinforced composite. In the second stage, several composite plate samples were fabricated with optimal nanoclay-epoxy reinforcement. High velocity impact tests were conducted on the nano-clay-epoxy reinforced plates. It was shown that the plate with nano-composite reinforcement has better impact protection than regular plate. A numerical simulation was conducted to investigate the effect of nano-clay reinforcement on the pure epoxy plates. Efforts have been made to reproduce similar impact protection behavior using the simulation tool in comparing with the actual test results. It was found that higher mechanical properties, such as modulus and strength, will help to improve the performances of composite plate system.