Study on the Ballistic Performance of Quasi-isotropic (QI) Panels Made from Woven and Unidirectional (UD) Structures

  • Zishun Yuan

Student thesis: Phd


Quasi-isotropic (QI) structure for multi-layer fabric panel is believed to be a promising construction to manufacture soft body armour with higher efficiency of ballistic protection based on two hypotheses. The first one is that QI structure panel could involve more secondary yarns in transverse deformation, and the second one is that the more involvement of the secondary yarns could result in the corresponding increase of the energy absorption. However, recent study found that the advantage of QI panel made from Dyneema® woven fabrics was very limited over the aligned panel and potential reasons have not been identified for the lack of systematic studies. Accordingly, this research aims to provide explicit guidance on how to improve the QI structure panels for ballistic protection by studying the mechanisms of aligned and QI panels of multi-layer Dyneema® woven fabrics. The two hypotheses were tested to identify the mechanisms. The ballistic performance of the aligned and QI panels of 2-layer, 3-layer and 4-layer Dyneema® woven fabrics were experimentally investigated using a ballistic test apparatus and a panel clamping system to evaluate the energy absorption of specimens. In order to further study the response of the ballistic panel, a yarn-level Dyneema® woven fabric model was developed. The shear moduli of the yarn (G13 and G23) was found to be the most important elastic constants in simulating ballistic fabrics using orthogonal experiments in this study, and were identified to 0.27GPa and 0.80GPa. The model was agreeably validated by comparing the FE modelling results of multi-layer panels under ballistic impact with the experimental counterparts. Based on this validated model, the areas, shapes of the transverse deformation bases were specifically evaluated. The first hypothesis was verified that the areas of the deformation bases of the back layer fabrics in QI panels of 2-layer, 3-layer, and 4-layer fabric models were more than 10% larger than the areas of the corresponding parts in aligned panel models, especially at medium and late stages. Moreover, the increases of the areas were attributed to the more involvements of the secondary yarns in the deformation, and more circular shapes of the deformation bases of the fabrics in QI panels were identified by using a mathematic measurement method created in this study. The kinetic energy (KE) and total strain energy (IE) evolution of primary yarns and secondary yarns in two panels were further specified. It was found that altering the aligned panel to QI panel not only changed the energy absorption of secondary yarns, also significantly changed that of primary yarns. This indicated that the second hypothesis was not suitable for the cases of panels of the Dyneema® woven fabrics for the influence of the primary yarns after the panel structure changed were neglected. The reason of the alterations of the primary yarns was that the slip-off time or failure time of most primary yarns was changed. The morphology evolution of primary yarns in 2-layer aligned and QI panels were investigated and the results showed that the space between adjacent warp or weft primary yarns and the interactions between some primary yarns and the adjacent primary yarns in another layer significantly affected the slip-off time and failure time of most primary yarns. The influence of these two factors derived from the feature of woven fabrics, which was the crimp. In order to verify the new understanding of the QI ballistic panels from the numerical analysis, a non-crimp fabric, namely Dyneema® SB51, was used to investigate the ballistic performance of the aligned and QI panels. It was found that the energy taken by QI panels was approximately 25% higher than the energy taken by the corresponding aligned panels. This result verifies the analysis conclusion and paves the solid way for further investigation of QI structure panels made up of biaxial fabrics.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorXiaogang Chen (Supervisor) & Lindsey Taylor (Supervisor)


  • Ballistic impact
  • Dyneema UD structure
  • Quasi-isotropic panel
  • FE modelling
  • Dyneema woven structure

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