Development of high strength aluminum matrix composite backing plates for ballistic armor

Durmaz, Tayfun
Recently, aluminum and aluminum alloys have gained great importance in engineering applications by the help of technological developments. Today, it is possible to see aluminum alloys in very different sectors of industry because of their superior properties. Some of these important properties are high specific strength, lightness and ductility. In addition, it has low density, high corrosion resistance and high mechanical properties that make aluminum crucial in transportation, construction, packaging, household items, electrical devices, automobiles, aerospace, sports industries. Moreover, aluminum alloys and aluminum matrix composites are mostly preferred in defense industry and ballistic applications. This study aims to develop aluminum matrix composite backing plates for ballistic armor by using some high strength aluminum alloys such as 7075 and 7085. In order to comprehend the importance of the aluminum matrix composites in the production of ballistic armor backing plate, these two alloys were produced by high pressure casting methods. Then some heat treatments, rolling and forcing processes were applied to obtain the desired mechanical and physical properties of these 7000 series aluminum alloys. By vi this way, 7075 and 7085 aluminum alloys were investigated for ballistic applications. After that, alumina and boron carbide ceramic preforms and carbon fiber were melt infiltrated with these alloys by squeeze casting. At the end, the composite samples were characterized by microstructural investigations, hardness measurements, mechanical tests and phase analyses for better understanding of the importance of aluminum matrix composites in ballistic applications.