There exists a great need for armor systems with greater mass efficiencies and ballistic limits. This thesis explores the development of a new field of armor capable of satisfying the increased demand for modern armor: Mechanically Reactive Armor or MRA. More specifically, the thesis focuses on Compliant MRA or CMRA. From the physics governing projectile-armor interactions, principles governing successful design of MRA are identified and presented. These principles or design approaches focus primarily on rejecting, minimizing, or absorbing the incoming projectile's kinetic energy. After identifying these principles, the specific mechanical functions required by the principles are isolated. These functions represent the physical behavior and capabilities of real mechanisms that satisfy the specific design principles. Using these mechanical functions and other benchmark concepts as a guide, established concept generation methodology is used to identify families of CMRA concepts that could supply the identified mechanical functions. These concept families are then narrowed by comparison of their respective ability to supply the required mechanical functions. The remaining concepts are selected for further study and simulation. In order to provide more detailed insight into the behavior of specific designs of these concepts, a quantitative model is developed. This simplified model is capable of predicting the behavior of the CMRA system when impacted by a ballistic projectile. After development, the model is then implemented to search the design space of the narrowed concepts. The search of the design space reveals important trends to be used in the design of CMRA elements. Finally, the feasibility of the specific designs is evaluated to judge their practicality in terms of practical materials and dimensions. It is shown that the concepts hold significant promise but require further design and development to provide the most desirable performance.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





reactive, armor, armour, compliant, mechanism, ballistic, projectile