Scientists at Southern Ural State University are working on composite materials to build reliable trains

One of the main composite materials used in modern structures is Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastics (GFRP), which is commonly used in aerospace, modern transportation, wind power plants, and the like. Scientists at Southern Ural State University have conducted extensive research to study the ballistic properties of this composite material, which can improve its future use efficiency.

Strength test
Glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) is a popular material because it is relatively inexpensive and has high strength. Many papers are devoted to studying the properties of this material. However, virtually all well known results regarding the ballistic properties of glass fiber reinforced plastics do not take into account the various loads that occur when operating the structure, or allow for relatively low impact loading speeds. At the same time, the more important and frequently encountered problem is the high speed impact. A team of scientists from the SUSU Institute of Engineering and Technology managed to determine the ballistic properties of glass fiber reinforced plastics under operating loads under high load impact.

One of the project authors, Mikhail Zhikharev, said:

“Normally, the flames of modern trains made of composite materials are subject to impact during train movements. Our task is to study the impact of impact forces on composite panels under normal operating loads. We stretched The sample created a tense condition, then we made an impact and determined its ballistic properties.

A compact acceleration test rig is used to study ballistic performance. During the experiment, the ballistic support was placed in the test machine, which helped to stretch the sample to a given value of the initial load. For each load level, the speed of the projectile varies from 100 to 800 m/s.

Experiment of upcoming research
To fully understand the performance of composite glass fiber reinforced plastics, a finite element method of preloaded plates made of fiberglass reinforced plastic was used for simulation and Ballistic impact was performed using Ansys. Workbench package. At that time, the results of the numerical simulation were close enough to the data obtained during the experiment.

Mikhail Zhikharev explained:

“We determined the dependence of the ballistic limit on the preload value. This is how we determine that the ballistic limit of a plate made of fiberglass reinforced plastic is reduced by 15% under load and by 50% from the ultimate strength limit. Taking into account the data obtained, modern trains and trams made of fiberglass reinforced plastics will be designed to be more resistant to running loads. This will increase their reliability and service life.”

Scientists at Southern Ural State University have worked on the performance of fiberglass reinforced plastics within the framework of the funding of the Russian Science Foundation. The results obtained are published in Composite Part B: Engineering Advanced Science Journal, which is included in the Scopus (Q1) citation database. When designing new composite materials, the material property research techniques obtained will be used and are planned to be created in SUSU.