19 Décembre – Thesis defense - Timothée Gentieu

10 h15 Amphi - building A9 (University of Bordeaux / Talence campus)

Development of filled polymers for the replacement of ceramics used as ballistic protection layer.

Ceramics have extensively been used for ballistic protection in the last decades. The combination of their mechanical properties makes them very interesting for armouring. Indeed, they exhibit a high hardness, large compression strength, high stiffness and low density. Ceramic armouring plates are commonly manufactured through a sintering process, where ceramic powders are pressed at high temperatures. This manufacturing process tends to limit the size and shape of components and imparts high costs. On the other hand, moulding using a polymer matrix composite provides an alternative process for developing lower cost parts whilst accommodating increased complexity of geometry and size.
However, the mechanical behaviour of such a material is not completely known and depends on multiple design parameters: the mechanical properties of the phases, their volume fraction, the size and spatial distributions of the particles, and the adhesion between the components. The objective of the thesis is to evaluate the influence of the main morphological parameters on the overall mechanical properties, emphasising the influence of the particle/matrix adhesion. To do so, both numerical and experimental multiscale analyses of the material under quasi-static and dynamic loadings were carried out.
More precisely, static and dynamic properties of the particle-reinforced composite have been determined for different combinations of the design variables. In particular, attention has been dedicated to the particle/matrix decohesion mechanism. Cohesive zone models (CZM) and Finite Fracture Mechanics (FFM) approaches were used to model this phenomenon and a strong effect of the particle size on debonding was observed.

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