Finite element modeling of ballistic impact on multi-layer Kevlar 49 fabrics

Deju Zhu, Aditya Vaidya, Barzin Mobasher, Subramaniam Rajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


This paper presents a material model suitable for simulating the behavior of dry fabrics subjected to ballistic impact. The developed material model is implemented in a commercial explicit finite element (FE) software LS-DYNA through a user defined material subroutine (UMAT). The constitutive model is developed using data from uniaxial quasi-static and high strain rate tension tests, picture frame tests and friction tests. Different finite element modeling schemes using shell finite elements are used to study efficiency and accuracy issues. First, single FE layer (SL) and multiple FE layers (ML) were used to simulate the ballistic tests conducted at NASA Glenn Research Center (NASA-GRC). Second, in the multiple layer configuration, a new modeling approach called Spiral Modeling Scheme (SMS) was tried and compared to the existing Concentric Modeling Scheme (CMS). Regression analyses were used to fill missing experimental data - the shear properties of the fabric, damping coefficient and the parameters used in Cowper-Symonds (CS) model which account for strain rate effect on material properties, in order to achieve close match between FE simulations and experimental data. The difference in absorbed energy by the fabric after impact, displacement of fabric near point of impact, and extent of damage were used as metrics for evaluating the material model. In addition, the ballistic limits of the multi-layer fabrics for various configurations were also determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-262
Number of pages9
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
StatePublished - 2014


  • A. Fabrics/textiles
  • B. Impact behavior
  • C. Finite element analysis (FEA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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