On propagation of shock waves generated under hypervelocity impact (HVI) and application to characterizing orbital debris-induced damage in space vehicles

Menglong Liu, Zhongqing Su

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The propagation characteristics of shock waves generated under hypervelocity impact (HVI) (an impact velocity leading to the case that inertial forces outweigh the material strength, usually on the order over 1 km/s) and guided by plate-like structures were interrogated. A hybrid numerical modeling approach, based on the Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) and Finite Element Method, was developed, to scrutinize HVI scenarios in which a series of aluminum plates, 1.5-mm, 3-mm and 5-mm in thickneß, was considered to be impacted by an aluminum sphere, 3.2-mm in diameter, at an initial velocity of 3100 m/s, 3050 m/s and 2490 m/s, respectively. The meshleß nature of SPH algorithm circumvented the inefficiency and inaccuracy in simulating large structural distortion aßociated with HVI when traditional finite element methods used. The particle density was particularly intensified in order to acquire wave components of higher frequencies. With the developed modeling approach, shock waves generated under concerned HVI scenarios were captured at representative gauging points, and the signals were examined in both time and frequency domains. The simulation results resembled those from earlier experiment, demonstrating a capability of the developed modeling approach in canvaßing shock waves under HVI. It has been concluded that in the regions near the impact point, the shock waves propagate with higher velocities than bulk waves; as propagation distance increases, the waves slow down and can be described as fundamental and higher-order symmetric and anti-symmetric plate-guided wave modes, propagating at distinct velocities in different frequency bands. The results will facilitate detection of orbital debris-induced damage in space vehicles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2015
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415414
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
EventHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2015 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 9 Mar 201512 Mar 2015


ConferenceHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Hypervelocity impact (HVI)
  • Lamb wave
  • Shock wave
  • Smoothed-particle hydrodynamics (SPH)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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