Impact and penetration studies: simplified models and materials design from ab initio methods
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In recent impact and penetration mechanical tests, steel projectiles (AISI4340) were impacted into targets like concrete with striking velocities (1200 m/s to 1500 m/s). Results indicated a material removal from the nose of the projectile, phase changes of the projectile materials, a reduction in the length of the projectile, and a blunting of the nose shape. These observations cannot be explained by current theories and numerical integration code that are used to study impact and penetration mechanics. Thus, the objectives of the thesis research are to (a) formulate and characterize the mechanisms responsible for the material erosion of the impacting projectile and the mass loss from the nose region; and (b) to determine the physical properties of alloy steels that are important to penetration mechanics from ab initio methods. The results can be used to design new projectile materials that can provide the desired penetration characteristics. These objectives are accomplished by investigating two related problems. The first problem is to formulate simplified models that can explain the penetration mechanics. The new models include the varying cross-section nose, changes of yield stress behind the shock wave and high strain rate phase transitions. Nose erosion effects, and time-dependent penetration path can be determined by integrating ODEs. A cavity expansion theory model is used to obtain the target resistance that is responsible slowing and deforming the penetrating projectile. The second problem concerns the determination of the constitutive relations from ab initio methods. The equation of state (EOS) and magnetic moments for alloy steels are investigated by using a special quasirandom structure technique and ab initio methods. Specifically, EOS for an interstitial disordered alloy Fe1-x-yNixCy is developed. First, the EOS of iron and phase transition of iron are studied and validated. Second, Nickel is considered to investigate the substitutional disordered alloy Fe1-x-yNixCy. Third, Carbon is placed at an interstitial position in the substitutional disordered alloy. These investigations will form foundation for future work involving new projectile with steel nose and shank made of multifunctional structural energetic materials.