Impact and Penetration of Comminuted Ceramic Materials

Program Code: 
Description of Work: 


The penetration of comminuted (i.e., highly fracture and fragmented) materials is of interest for several reasons. These include the possibility of being able to predict the penetration into pre-fractured concrete, ceramic and glass materials. Of particular interest is the possibility of predicting the resistance of such materials to penetration by projectiles and the strength that they offer during the penetration (and compaction) process. Such materials are known to be pressure-dependent in their behaviour and therefore it is thought that a Drucker-Prager relationship is appropriate. Also, the inter-particle friction of the individual particles is thought to play a large part in the resistance to penetration – particularly when these materials are compacted.


The goal here is to provide insight into the behaviour of highly compacted, highly fractured material so that it is possible to establish a family of constitutive relationships that define the break-down from intact to fractured to highly comminuted material. This is particularly important for modelling the dynamic behaviour of ceramic materials. The challenge will be implementing these models into a continuum explicit code.

Description of work:

This project will be experimental and computational in nature. The student will be required to independently carry out experimental characterisation tests using universal testing machines as well as manufacture powder compacts for ballistic testing. Computational studies may involve minor code development including the September 2014 23 possibility of modifying existing constitutive models in commercial Hydrocodes to successfully simulate the dynamic behaviour of a powder compact. Technical and full supervisory support will be available.


Prof Paul Hazell (; Dr Y.X. (Sarah) Zhang (