An experimental and numerical investigation of sphere impact on alumina ceramic

E. C. Simons*, J. Weerheijm, G. Toussaint, L. J. Sluys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the impact of a steel spherical projectile on an alumina ceramic is considered. New experimental and numerical results are presented and analysed. Numerical results are obtained using the Finite Element Method and the upgraded viscosity regularized Johnson-Holmquist-2 constitutive model to describe the ceramic material behaviour. First, a short investigation is done using 2d Finite Element simulations to establish a proper numerical framework. Second, the numerical framework is extended to 3d and experimental results are used to validate the framework and the ceramic material model. This shows that all relevant ceramic failure mechanisms are captured correctly and the framework and model can be used to simulate sphere impact on ceramic material. Third, the simulations are used to analyse the failure processes in the ceramic material in more detail. Here the focus lies in obtaining information which can currently not be retrieved from experiments. Timing and interaction of propagating conical and radial cracks are investigated and corroborate with the typical failure mechanisms observed in sphere impact on ceramic material.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103670
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Impact Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Ceramic
  • Cone cracking
  • Experiment
  • Impact
  • Simulation


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