Energy Absorption and Dynamic Deformation of Backing Material for Ballistic Evaluation of Body Armour

Debarati Bhattacharjee, Ajay Kumar, Ipsita Biswas


The measurement of back face signature (BFS) or behind armour blunt trauma (BABT) is a critical aspect of ballistic evaluation of body armour. BFS is the impact experienced by the armour wearing body, when subjected to a non-penetrating projectile. Mineral or polymeric clay is used to measure the BFS. In addition to stopping the projectile, the body armour can be used only when the BFS also falls within permissible limits. The extent of the BFS depends upon the behavior of the backing material in different loading conditions and prior history. This paper explains some of the studies carried out on the backing material used for ballistic evaluation in Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Chandigarh. It has been observed that the backing material is highly non-linear viscoelastic in nature. The depth of deformation is also linearly proportional to the impact energy and temperature. The effect of time on the depth of deformation is gradual and does not influence the BFS values during a standard ballistic evaluation comprising of 6-8 shots.

Defence Science Journal, 2013, 63(5), pp.462-466, DOI:


Backing material, plasticine, back face signature, body armour, ballistic evaluation

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Defence Science Journal (DSJ)