Probing the molecular-level energy absorption mechanism and strategic sequencing of graphene/Al composite laminates under high-velocity ballistic impact of nano-projectiles

KK Gupta and T Mukhopadhyay and S Dey, APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, 629, 156502 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2023.156502

Motivated by recent discoveries concerning the extreme superiority of multilayer graphene in terms of kinetic energy dissipation compared to conventional monolithic materials, this article investigates the ballistic perfor-mance and physics-informed strategic sequencing of graphene-reinforced aluminum laminates under the influ-ence of random disorder based on extensive molecular-level simulations of high-velocity impact. It is unraveled that strategic sequencing of graphene layers within the aluminum matrix can significantly enhance kinetic en-ergy absorption, while preventing complete penetration. However, the reinforcement of bilayer graphene in-creases the projectile's post- impact residual velocity due to high magnitude of stress wave release provided by the reinforcement. We have further mitigated this effect to a significant extent by increasing the effective thickness of Al laminates. Based on the insights gained by a series of molecular-level simulations, we have proposed hybrid multifunctional laminates by coupling two individual configurations with high energy ab-sorption and no penetration, respectively. By strategically providing higher graphene concentration near target surfaces, up to 90.77% of the kinetic energy can be absorbed. The findings of this study would be crucially useful in materializing the bottom-up multi-scale design pathway for producing graphene-reinforced Al composites to develop a novel class of functional barrier material-based engineered surfaces with improved nano-scale ballistic performance.

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