Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Lacy, Thomas E.

Committee Member

Olsen, Gregory.

Committee Member

Pittman, Charles U., Jr.

Committee Member

Sherburm, Jesse Andrew.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Aerospace Engineering


Homogenous polymer materials, such as bulk polyester or high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are not commonly associated with armor materials in their raw, unmodified form due to their poor performance at typical ballistic impact velocities. However, projectile penetrations into homogenous polymeric materials have been shown to correlate strongly to the highly temperature-dependent viscoelastic properties such as elastic storage modulus and loss modulus. Ballistic trials conducted at room temperature showed that these two parameters statistically account for a large percentage of the variation in ballistic performance between different polymers. The purpose of this study is to determine the correlation of viscoelastic properties to ballistic resistance when the temperature of the polymer targets is altered above and below room temperature. The ultimate goal is to use these data to determine which materials would perform best against ultra-high velocity impacts, such as the case of micrometeoroid impacts with spacecraft.