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Bullet impacts in building stone excavate approximately conical craters, with dimensions that are controlled by target material

Campbell, Oliver, Blenkinsop, Tom ORCID:, Gilbert, Oscar and Mol, Lisa 2022. Bullet impacts in building stone excavate approximately conical craters, with dimensions that are controlled by target material. Scientific Reports 12 , 17634. 10.1038/s41598-022-22624-z

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Bullet impacts are a ubiquitous form of damage to the built environment resulting from armed conflicts. Bullet impacts into stone buildings result in surficial cratering, fracturing, and changes to material properties, such as permeability and surface hardness. Controlled experiments into two different sedimentary stones were conducted to characterise surface damage and to investigate the relationship between the impact energy (a function of engagement distance) and crater volumes. Simplified geometries of crater volume using only depth and diameter measurements showed that the volume of a simple cone provides the best approximation (within 5%) to crater volume measured from photogrammetry models. This result suggests a quick and efficient method of estimating crater volumes during field assessments of damage. Impact energy has little consistent effect on crater volume over the engagement distances studied (100–400 m), but different target materials result in an order of magnitude variation in measured crater volumes. Bullet impacts in the experiments are similar in appearance to damage caused by hypervelocity experiments, but crater excavation is driven by momentum transfer to the target rather than a hemispherical shock wave. Therefore in contrast to predictions of impact scaling relationships for hypervelocity experiments, target material plays the dominant role in controlling damage, not projectile energy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 October 2022
Date of Acceptance: 18 October 2022
Last Modified: 20 May 2023 07:27

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