Soft Armour Development

Soft Armour Development

High-Strength Flexibility

In 2005 Simpact successfully developed the World’s first soft armour CAE model which can be used as a practical design tool for the development of soft armour systems. This was a result of many years’ internal European funded research and development programmes. For our soft armour customers, it has resulted in lighter and more effective armour systems which is a significant advantage over their competitors who still use experimental testing for armour development.

Soft armour is typically used for wearable personal protection which requires flexibility for mobility. Soft armour systems include protective jackets used by the military and police. We know that both can have entirely different requirements and this is why our numerical simulation is of huge value in delivering highly optimised systems in radically reduced timescales.

Our soft armour models include validated material models of the Roma Plastilina clay used within the experimental certification of protective jackets. We also have a range of correlated numerical representations of ballistic and edged threats as specified in the NIJ and HOSDB (CAST) standards that we can use to assess and predict the performance of all types of soft body armour.

Hard Armour Development

Cracking Performance

Hard armour is typically used for the ballistic plates within personal protection systems, and also in vehicle armour.

In 2011, Simpact was one of ten innovative British companies that were awarded funding from the UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (now called Innovate UK) for a two year collaborative research and development project costing in excess of £1M.

The project has transformed the accuracy and communication of impact simulation of hard armour systems and developed novel and innovative methods for visualising and interacting with simulation outputs. This modern product development process is absolutely necessary for developing the advanced armour systems of tomorrow.

Our new hard armour models have been founded on extensive experimental testing at relevant rates of strain and include validated models of the threats used for defeating hard armour systems such as .30-06 M2 armour piercing rounds and 20mm Fragment Simulating projectiles (FSP).

Simpact also developed a numerical design tool able to predict the performance of hard armour systems in drop tests, validated experimentally with X-ray scans and advanced non-destructive thermographic inspections (PPT technique). This allows us to engineer bespoke solutions able to achieve a solid pass in the NIJ 0101.06 drop test at minimum weight and bulkiness. The numerical tool has been presented in PASS2016 (see the Publications subsection).

By combining our hard and soft armour models together with our experience in experimental testing, Simpact now have the capability to develop complete armour systems and to investigate the advanced armour systems of tomorrow.

Blast Modelling

Explosive Results

Simpact is capable of applying Finite Element Analysis to blast scenarios. Using Advanced Lagrangian Eulerian (ALE) approach we can replicate in detail the soil in which the explosive is located, the air through which the blast wave propagates as well as the structure exposed to it. All three are important ingredients to replicate the real-world scenario, like those captured in AEP-55 STANAG 4569.

Our portfolio of automotive safety related projects enabled us to gain essential knowledge in the injury risk assessment. Examples of this include tibial and pelvic forces, knee displacements, rib compression or head accelerations. Our Photron SA1.1 high-speed camera has proven a powerful tool in correlating our computer models to physical experiments.

The quality of occupant modelling and injury assessment is however dependent on how well the computer model represents the actual scenario in question. Material properties and material reaction to blast waves are crucial to capture good behaviour of the environment. Simpact, with their test equipment as well as knowledge and experience acquired through previous Innovate UK funded Collaborative R&D projects, can measure the relevant properties at high strain rates which occur in blast events.

Recent increase in computational power made computer simulations a powerful tool. At Simpact we have in-house computing power capable of simulating blast events with models having in the order of millions of elements. For even larger scale events we have access to a multi-node high-memory High Performance Cluster, using hundreds of CPUs simultaneously.

This capability compliments our knowledge and experience in soft and hard armour. Simpact can not only address the immediate personal protection system but also a whole operational vehicle carrying many occupants.