High strain rate deformation of layered nanocomposites. Academic Article uri icon


  • Insight into the mechanical behaviour of nanomaterials under the extreme condition of very high deformation rates and to very large strains is needed to provide improved understanding for the development of new protective materials. Applications include protection against bullets for body armour, micrometeorites for satellites, and high-speed particle impact for jet engine turbine blades. Here we use a microscopic ballistic test to report the responses of periodic glassy-rubbery layered block-copolymer nanostructures to impact from hypervelocity micron-sized silica spheres. Entire deformation fields are experimentally visualized at an exceptionally high resolution (below 10nm) and we discover how the microstructure dissipates the impact energy via layer kinking, layer compression, extreme chain conformational flattening, domain fragmentation and segmental mixing to form a liquid phase. Orientation-dependent experiments show that the dissipation can be enhanced by 30% by proper orientation of the layers.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 66.842

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, J., Veysset, D., Singer, J. P., Retsch, M., Saini, G., Pezeril, T., Nelson, K. A., & Thomas, E. L.

citation count

  • 124

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Jae-Hwang||Veysset, David||Singer, Jonathan P||Retsch, Markus||Saini, Gagan||Pezeril, Thomas||Nelson, Keith A||Thomas, Edwin L

publication date

  • January 2012