Hypervelocity Impact Phenomenon in Bulk Metallic Glasses and Composites**


  • This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and funded through the Strategic University Research Partnership program. Some graduate student support was provided by the Office of Naval Research under grant no. N00014-07-1-1115. The authors thank the staff of the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range for their technical support of this effort, especially D. Holt and C. Cornelison. The authors also thank Eric Christiansen of NASA's Johnson Space Center for supplying the ballistic limit equations program.


Collisions with debris are major cause of concern for spacecraft and satellites. Developing new materials that can combat these threats, while still providing low-density and sufficient toughness to survive launch loads, is important for future spacecraft design. In the current work, hypervelocity impacts are used to estimate the ballistic limit for bulk metallic glass and their composites and to investigate spalling behavior. The composites are shown to have excellent combinations of hardness and toughness for use as shields.