Document Type : Research Paper


1 Materials Engineering Department., University of Technology-Iraq, Alsina’a street, 10066 Baghdad, Iraq.

2 Manufacturing & Industrial Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Koya University, Koya, Kurdistan Region.


Kevlar is widely used in ballistic applications to protect against hand pistols, due to its high strength, lightweight, and high impact resistance. Compared to other fabrics, Kevlar is considered a typical material due to its strength properties for bullet-proof vests. This project aims to develop a hybrid composite and investigate its behavior under ballistic impact both experimentally and theoretically. Ceramic/woven fabric reinforced epoxy/polycarbonate multilayered armors were developed. The initial layer of defense against the bullet is silicon carbide (SiC). The intermediate composite is made up of aramid fabric (Kevlar) reinforced epoxy (KEV/EPX). The rear layer was made of polycarbonate (PC). A 9 mm FMJ bullet was fired in 310 m/s, towards samples of 900 cm2. To simulate  the ballistic test, Ansys Workbench Explicit Dynamics and Ansys AUTODYN 3D were used. An integrated methodological approach of experimentation and simulation was followed to assess the behavior of samples. Obtained results showed that SiC+ KEV/EPX+ polycarbonate was able to stop the 9mm FMJ bullet and indicated that armor layers perforated without penetration. Back Face Signature BFS was also measured, which is within the allowed limit. The ceramic layer absorbs the largest percentage of the overall energy absorbed, compared to fiber-reinforced epoxy and polycarbonate, which reach 77.8% of the entire energy.


  • Composite laminate materials were used to produce Body armor by hand layup as ballistic structural armors.
  • Simulation is able to assist decrease costs in the creation of armor.
  • Silicon Carbide + Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene + Polycarbonate can stop a 9mm FMJ bullet with just a little distortion.
  • The ceramic layer absorbs the largest percentage of the overall energy absorbed.

[1] B. A. Gama, T. A. Bogetti, B. K. Fink, C. Yu, T. D. Claar, H. H. Eifert, and J. W. Gillespie, Aluminum foam integral armor: A new dimension in armor design, Compos. Struct., 52 (2001) 381–395, doi: 10.1016/S0263-8223(01)00029-0.
[2] M. Tanoglu, S. H. McKnight, G. R. Palmese, and J. W. Gillespie, Effects of glass-fiber sizings on the strength and energy absorption of the fiber/matrix interphase under high loading rates, Compos. Sci. Technol., 61(2001) 205–220, doi: 10.1016/S0266-3538(00)00195-0.
[3] U. K. Vaidya, A. Abraham, and S. Bhide, Affordable processing of thick section and integral multi-functional composites, Compos. - Part A Appl. Sci. Manuf., 32 (2001) 1133–1142, doi: 10.1016/S1359-835X(01)00033-1.
[4] C. Navarro, M. A. Martinez, R. Cortés, and V. Sánchez-Gálvez, Some observations on the normal impact on ceramic faced armours backed by composite plates, Int. J. Impact Eng., 13 (1993) 145–156, doi: 10.1016/0734-743X(93)90113-L.
[5] P. J. Hogg, Composites for Ballistic Applications, Proc. Compos. Process., No. March, (2003) 1–11, [Online]. Available:
[6] D. Zhu, A. Vaidya, B. Mobasher, and S. D. Rajan, Finite element modeling of ballistic impact on multi-layer Kevlar 49 fabrics, Compos. Part B Eng., 56 (2014) 254–262, doi: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2013.08.051.
[7] L. H. L. L. Fernanda S. Luza, E. P. L. Juniora and S. N. Monteiroa, Ballistic test of multilayered armor with intermediate Epoxy composite reinforced with jute fabric, Mater. Res., 18 (2015) 170–177, [Online]. Available:
[8] A. M. Soydan, B. Tunaboylu, A. G. Elsabagh, A. K. Sarı, and R. Akdeniz, Simulation and experimental tests of ballistic impact on composite laminate armor, Adv. Mater. Sci. Eng., 2018 (2018) 1–12, doi: 10.1155/2018/4696143.
[9] P. Compston, W. J. Cantwell, C. Jones, and N. Jones, Impact perforation resistance and fracture mechanisms of a thermoplastic based fiber-metal laminate, J. Mater. Sci. Lett., 20 (2001) 597–599, doi: 10.1023/A:1010904930497.
[10] S. Heimbs, T. Bergmann, D. Schueler, and N. Toso-PentecÔte, High velocity impact on preloaded composite plates, Compos. Struct., 111 (2014) 158–168, doi: 10.1016/j.compstruct.2013.12.031.
[11] E. Camci and F. Findik, Ballistic impact performance of laminated composite structures, Period. Eng. Nat. Sci., 7 (2019) 1329–1344, doi: 10.21533/PEN.V7I3.700.
[12] F. Mullaoǧlu, F. Usta, H. S. Türkmen, Z. Kazanci, D. Balkan, and E. Akay, Deformation behavior of the polycarbonate pates subjected to impact loading, Procedia Eng., 167 (2016) 143–150, doi: 10.1016/j.proeng.2016.11.681.
[13] S. S. Esfahlani, Ballistic performance of Polycarbonate and Polymethyl methacrylate under normal and inclined dynamic impacts, Heliyon, 7(2021) e06856, doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06856.
[14] C. Y. Tham, V. B. C. Tan, and H. P. Lee, Ballistic impact of a KEVLAR helmet: Experiment and simulations, Int. J. Impact Eng., 35 (2008) 304–318, doi: 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2007.03.008.
[15] G. R. Johnson and T. J. Holmquist, An improved computational constitutive model for brittle materials, AIP Conf. Proc., 981 (2008) 981–984.
[16] N. Robertson, C. Hayhurst, and G. Fairlie, Numerical simulation of impact and fast transient phenomena using AUTODYNTM-2D and 3D, Nucl. Eng. Des., 150 (1994) 235–241, doi: 10.1016/0029-5493(94)90140-6.
[17] A. A. Ramadhan, A. R. Abu Talib, A. S. Mohd Rafie, and R. Zahari, High velocity impact response of Kevlar-29/epoxy and 6061-T6 aluminum laminated panels, Mater. Des., 43 (2013) 307–321, doi: 10.1016/j.matdes.2012.06.034.
[18] National Institute of Justice, Guide body armor: selection and application guide to ballistic-resistance body armor, Ncj, 247281 (2014), [Online]. Available:
[19] E. Medvedovski, Lightweight ceramic composite armour system, Adv. Appl. Ceram., 105 (2006) 241–245, doi: 10.1179/174367606X113537.
[20] A. L. Florence, “Interaction of projectiles and composite armor Part II", STANFORD Res. INST MENLO Park CA, USA, (1969).
[21] J. W. Song and B. L. Les Lee, Fabrics and composites for ballistic protection of personnel, Lightweight Ballistic Composites: Military and Law-Enforcement Applications, Elsevier Inc., (2006) 210–239,