Scale Effects on the Ballistic Penetration of Graphene Sheets

RA Bizao and LD Machado and JM de Sousa and NM Pugno and DS Galvao, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 8, 6750 (2018).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-25050-2

Carbon nanostructures are promising ballistic protection materials, due to their low density and excellent mechanical properties. Recent experimental and computational investigations on the behavior of graphene under impact conditions revealed exceptional energy absorption properties as well. However, the reported numerical and experimental values differ by an order of magnitude. In this work, we combined numerical and analytical modeling to address this issue. In the numerical part, we employed reactive molecular dynamics to carry out ballistic tests on single, double, and triple-layered graphene sheets. We used velocity values within the range tested in experiments. Our numerical and the experimental results were used to determine parameters for a scaling law. We find that the specific penetration energy decreases as the number of layers (N) increases, from similar to 15 MJ/kg for N = 1 to similar to 0.9 MJ/kg for N = 350, for an impact velocity of 900 m/s. These values are in good agreement with simulations and experiments, within the entire range of N values for which data is presently available. Scale effects explain the apparent discrepancy between simulations and experiments.

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