Application of nondestructive testing methods to study the damage zone underneath impact craters of MEMIN laboratory experiments


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Abstract– Within the framework of the Multidisciplinary Experimental and Modeling Impact Research Network (MEMIN) research group, the damage zones underneath two experimentally produced impact craters in sandstone targets were investigated using several nondestructive testing (NDT) methods. The 20 × 20 × 20 cm sandstones were impacted by steel projectiles with a radius of 1.25 mm at approximately 5 km s−1, resulting in craters with approximately 6 cm diameter and approximately 1 cm depth. Ultrasound (US) tomography and vibrational analysis were applied before and after the impact experiments to characterize the damage zone, and micro-computer tomography (μ-CT) measurements were performed to visualize subsurface fractures. The newly obtained experimental data can help to quantify the extent of the damage zone, which extends to about 8 cm depth in the target. The impacted sandstone shows a local p-wave reduction of 18% below the crater floor, and a general reduction in elastic moduli by between approximately 9 and approximately 18%, depending on the type of elastic modulus. The results contribute to a better empirical and theoretical understanding of hypervelocity events and simulations of cratering processes.