Armour: Materials, Theory, and Design | Advanced

Building off the thee-day course of the same name, this five-day course provides participants with an analysis of the science behind the materials, systems and strategies that are used to provide protection against military and terrorist threats. Additional to the three-day course where armour materials and testing techniques have been analysed, this course will focus on the stress wave and shock propagation as well as examining active and reactive armour systems that are commonly deployed on vehicles. Wounding mechanisms and computational modelling approaches (to aid in armour design) will also be discussed.

Attendees will receive a comprehensive set of notes covering the lecture content. In addition, each attendee of this 5-day course will receive a copy of the 395-page reference book ‘ARMOUR: Materials, Theory, and Design’ (CRC Press, 2015)’. The link for the book is provided here:

Anyone requiring an introduction to protection technologies including (and not limited to): managers; police; design engineers; civil engineers; city planners; material scientists; systems engineers; project managers (including those writing requirement specifications); serving military personnel; business managers and those working to combat terrorism.


Introduction to Protection

An introduction to armour concepts | The survivability onion | What affects armour performance? | Obliquity |Strength of materials | Whittaker’s approach | Structural vs appliqué | Homogeneous vs laminate | Passive vs reactive vs active | Spacing.

Introduction to Armour Materials

How are materials used in armour construction | The structure of materials | The mechanics of material behaviour | An introduction to material properties and testing techniques | Dynamic behaviour.


A session will be provided so that the student can work through some of the issues raised in this course under the guidance of the course presenter.

Introduction to the Threats facing Armour

Ammunition concepts | Small arms and bullets | Armour-Piercing Discarding-Sabot (APDS) rounds | Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding-Sabot (APFSDS) rounds | Shaped charge | A discussion on ammunition construction and performance.


Weapons and Threats

Guns including small arms | An introduction to bunker busters | More on shaped charge | Explosively formed projectiles | Mines.

Bombs and IEDs

Introduction to explosives | Detonation | Mechanics of blast | Materials and solutions | Fragmentation effects | Calculating the fragment size, velocity and penetration | Drag characteristics.


A session will be provided so that the student can work through some of the issues raised in this course under the guidance of the course presenter.

Penetration Mechanisms

Failure mechanisms | Low-velocity impact | de Marre theory | Recht penetration theory | High-velocity impact |Hydrodynamic penetration theory.


Ceramics and Transparent Armour

Structure of armour ceramics |Processing of ceramics | Properties of ceramic |Early studies on ceramic armour | Cone formation |High-velocity impact | Studies on the subject of dwell |Shock studies in ceramic materials | Modelling ceramic impact | Current application and challenges | Comparing with other materials | Improving performance | Transparent armour materials.

Woven Fabrics and Composite Laminates

Basics | Manufacturing processes of composite laminates | Fibrous materials for armour Applications | Spall shields| Sandwich constructions.


A session will be provided so that the student can work through some of the issues raised in this course under the guidance of the course presenter.

Blast and Ballistic Testing

Ballistic testing techniques |Blast and fragmentation testing techniques | STANAG 4569 | AEP-55 | EN 1522 | EN 1523 | EN 1063 | NIJ standards.

Day 4

Metallic Armour Materials and Structures

Properties and processing of metallic armour | Metallic armour materials |Sandwich structures | Micro-lattice structures | Metallic foams | Dynamic failure mechanisms | Spall.

Stress Waves and Shock Waves

Calculation of the particle velocity | Elastic waves |Inelastic waves | Shock waves | Rankine-Hugoniot equations | Impedance matching | Calculating the pressure due to collisions | Experimental techniques.

Reactive and Active Armour Systems

Explosive reactive armour (ERA) | Bulging armour |Electric and electromagnetic developments | ARENA | DROZD |Hard-kill active systems| What about the future?

Day 5

Human Vulnerability

Human response to ballistic loading | Human response to blast loading |Limiting blast mine injury to vehicle occupants.

Computational modelling

Introduction to computer codes including hydrocodes | Discretisation | Empirical vs analytical vs computational | Equations of state | Strength models | Failure models |Erosion models | Modelling blast and ballistic attack.


A session will be provided so that the student can work through some of the issues raised in this course under the guidance of the course presenter.


An optional test will be available for those wishing to gain post-graduate credit.


'I thought the course was excellent, all content extremely interesting and Professor Hazell delivered each day with the utmost energy and professionalism'.

'Paul is extremely knowledgeable regarding the course content and was very helpful in answering all questions and presenting the course content in an easy-to-understand manner'.

'I found the mechanics type problems and applications of the theory to be the most useful and valuable. This not only solidified my theoretical understanding but also gave context to the applications of the theory'.

'I found both the depth and breadth of knowledge conveyed within such a short period (5 days) was outstanding. Plenty of different materials and threats to armour were outlined, which really is a credit to Paul’s teaching'.


Paul has over 20 years of experience studying the impact behaviour of materials. In 2012 he moved to Canberra, Australia from the UK to take up the post of Professor of Impact Dynamics at UNSW Canberra. Before taking this position he was Head of the Centre for Ordnance Science and Technology at Cranfield University’s Shrivenham campus (at the UK Defence Academy). He has published extensively, appeared in several documentaries and presented his research work at numerous symposia. He has published two books on protection technologies with the most recent called ‘ARMOUR: Materials, Theory, and Design’ (CRC Press, 2015).


23 November 2020 - 27 November 2020
29 November 2021 - 3 December 2021