Armour: Materials, Theory, and Design | Intermediate



Building off the one-day course of the same name, this three-day course provides participants with an analysis of the science behind the materials, systems and strategies that are used to provide protection against military and terrorist threats. The course will begin with an overview of the common threats facing personnel; it will then provide an analysis of the various technological approaches and materials that are often used to provide protection. The theory and science behind typical armoured protection solutions will also be discussed as well as blast and ballistic testing methodologies.

Attendees will receive a comprehensive set of notes covering the lecture content.

Who Should Attend

Course Outline

Presenter Information

Dates & Registration

Duration: 3 days

Delivery mode: Classroom


Advertised: Canberra

In-house: All states and neighbouring countries, contact the  for more information. Recommended for groups of 10 or more.

Masters Credit: UNSW Canberra allows students who have successfully completed a minimum of 12 days of approved professional education short courses to use those courses as credit in eligible postgraduate programs. 

What you will receive:

Affiliated courses: Bombs, Blast, Bullets and Fragments | Overview (1 day), Armour Materials Theory and Design | Introduction (1 day),  Armour Materials Theory and Design | Advanced (5 days)





Anyone requiring an introduction to protection technologies including (and not limited to): managers; police; design engineers; civil engineers; city planners; material scientists; systems engineers; project managers (including those writing requirement specifications); serving military personnel; business managers and those working to combat terrorism. 







Introduction to Protection

An introduction to armour concepts | The survivability onion | What affects armour performance? | Obliquity |Strength of materials | Whittaker’s approach | Structural vs appliqué | Homogeneous vs laminate | Passive vs reactive vs active | Spacing.

Introduction to Armour Materials

How are materials used in armour construction | The structure of materials | The mechanics of material behaviour | An introduction to material properties and testing techniques | Dynamic behaviour.


A session will be provided so that the student can work through some of the issues raised in this course under the guidance of the course presenter.

Introduction to the Threats facing Armour

Ammunition concepts | Small arms and bullets | Armour-Piercing Discarding-Sabot (APDS) rounds | Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding-Sabot (APFSDS) rounds | Shaped charge | A discussion on ammunition construction and performance.


Weapons and Threats

Guns including small arms | An introduction to bunker busters | More on shaped charge | Explosively formed projectiles | Mines.

Bombs and IEDs

Introduction to explosives | Detonation | Mechanics of blast | Materials and solutions | Fragmentation effects | Calculating the fragment size, velocity and penetration | Drag characteristics.


A session will be provided so that the student can work through some of the issues raised in this course under the guidance of the course presenter.

Penetration Mechanisms

Failure mechanisms | Low-velocity impact | de Marre theory | Recht penetration theory | High-velocity impact |Hydrodynamic penetration theory.


Ceramics and Transparent Armour

Structure of armour ceramics |Processing of ceramics | Properties of ceramic |Early studies on ceramic armour | Cone formation |High-velocity impact | Studies on the subject of dwell |Shock studies in ceramic materials | Modelling ceramic impact | Current application and challenges | Comparing with other materials | Improving performance | Transparent armour materials.

Woven Fabrics and Composite Laminates

Basics | Manufacturing processes of composite laminates | Fibrous materials for armour Applications | Spall shields| Sandwich constructions.


A session will be provided so that the student can work through some of the issues raised in this course under the guidance of the course presenter.

Blast and Ballistic Testing

Ballistic testing techniques |Blast and fragmentation testing techniques | STANAG 4569 | AEP-55 | EN 1522 | EN 1523 | EN 1063 | NIJ standards.


An optional test will be available for those wishing to gain post-graduate credit.




Paul has over 20 years of experience studying the impact behaviour of materials. In 2012 he moved to Canberra, Australia from the UK to take up the post of Professor of Impact Dynamics at UNSW Canberra. Before taking this position he was Head of the Centre for Ordnance  Science and Technology at Cranfield University’s Shrivenham campus (at the UK Defence Academy). He has published extensively, appeared in several documentaries and presented his research work at numerous symposia. He has published two books on protection technologies  with the most recent called ‘ARMOUR: Materials, Theory, and Design’ (CRC Press, 2015).


No dates? Or unable to attend dates shown? Submit an Expression of Interest below to be notified of upcoming courses.


23 November 2020 - 25 November 2020
29 November 2021 - 1 December 2021