Armour: Materials, Theory, and Design *online course *

Course Overview:

This online course is based on the reference book of the same name by the course presenter. It provides an in-depth study of armour systems and technologies that can be applied to personnel, vehicles, ships and structures as well as providing the participant an introduction to the material science concepts that are important for armour construction and integration.

This full course comprises of 10 modules each of which correspond to approximately 3 hours of directed learning activity. Module 10 comprises of an optional online course test. Each module can be purchased individually, however, to get the most out of each module it is highly recommended to complete the recommended prerequisite modules.


MODULE 1: Introduction to protection and materials

Recommended prerequisite: None

Part 1: 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.

Part 2: 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.

MODULE 2: Threats 1

Recommended prerequisite: None

Guns including small arms | Ammunition concepts | Armour-Piercing Discarding-Sabot (APDS) rounds | Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding-Sabot (APFSDS) rounds | Shaped charge | A discussion on ammunition construction and performance | Explosively formed projectiles.

MODULE 3: Threats 2

Recommended prerequisite: Module 2

Explosive threats

Introduction to explosives | Detonation | Mechanics of blast | Materials and solutions | Fragmentation effects | Mott’s fragmentation theory | Gurney theory | Calculating the fragment size, velocity and penetration | Drag characteristics | An introduction to bunker busters | Mines.

MODULE 4: Penetration mechanisms

Recommended prerequisite: Module 1 and Module 2

Ballistic failure mechanisms | Low-velocity impact | de Marre theory | Recht penetration theory | High-velocity impact | Hydrodynamic penetration theory | Examples.

MODULE 5: Armour materials I

Recommended prerequisites: Module 1, Module 2 and Module 4

Part 1: Ceramics

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.

Part 2: Woven Fabrics and Composite Laminates

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

MODULE 6: Armour materials II

Recommended prerequisites: Module 1, Module 2, Module 4 and Module 5

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

MODULE 7: Stress Waves and Shock Waves

Recommended prerequisites: Module 1, Module 2 and Module 3

Calculation of the particle velocity | Elastic waves | Inelastic waves | Shock waves | Rankine-Hugoniot relationships | The Rayleigh line | The isentrope | Temperature rise due to shock | Impedance matching | Calculating the pressure and particle velocity due to collisions | Spall theory | Experimental techniques.

MODULE 8: Reactive and Active Armour Systems

Recommended prerequisites: Module 1, Module 2, Module 3 and Module 7

Explosive reactive armour (ERA) | Mechanisms of SC defeat | Explosive initiation mechanisms | Bulging armour |Electric and electromagnetic developments | DROZD | ARENA | Modern hard-kill active defence systems| What about the future?

MODULE 9:  Testing and vulnerability

Recommended prerequisites: Module 1 and Module 2

Ballistic testing techniques | Blast and fragmentation testing techniques | STANAG 4569 | AEP-55 | EN 1522 | EN 1523 | EN 1063 | NIJ standards | Human response to ballistic loading | Human response to blast loading | Limiting blast mine injury to vehicle occupants.

MODULE 10: Computational modelling | Assessment

Recommended prerequisites: Module 1, Module 2 and Module 3 and Module 7

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.

An online test will be available for those wishing to test their knowledge and gain post-graduate credit.


Standard price: 10 Modules live via Microsoft Teams - $4,100AUD including GST (minimum of 5 participants per course).  Individual Modules can be purchased for $410 each.  Please email for Module packages.



Professor Paul Hazell has over 25 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).


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