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Microstructural damage and deformation mechanisms of ballistic impacts in stone

Project lead: Oliver Campbell

Advisors: Tom Blenkinsop and Lisa Mol

This project seeks to understand and quantify the damage done by ballistic impacts in stone heritage. This project investigates the visible surface expression of damage, such as macro fractures and impact cratering, as well as the internal damage not immediately observable. By utilising experimentally generated samples, we can observe internal fracture networks, damage mechanism and their spatial relationship to impacts, without the need to cause further damage to existing stone heritage. This project utilises multiple methods of analysis to characterise damage across a range of scales. These include micro-computed tomography (µCT), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), 3D photogrammetry and optical microscopy (OM).


The project seeks to answer several key questions with regards to impact damage:

  • What does the internal damage imposed by a bullet impact look like?

  • How is this damage vary spatially with respect to the impact site?

  • How does this vary with calibre of firearm?

  • How does this vary with angle of impact?

And finally:

  • Can an adequate assessment of internal damage be made from the use of surface observations and non-destructive field techniques?

Surface and Subsurface Damage Caused by Bullet Impacts into Sandstone (2021)

3D Photogrammetry for quantitative fracture analysis (2019; poster)

Multiscale Analysis of Ballistic Damage in Stone Heritage (2019; poster)

Casualties of War: Microstructural damage to stone heritage by ballistic impacts (2019; poster)

Armed conflict impacts on the microscale

Journal of Physics: Conference Series (2017)

Shot to pieces and shocked to the core

InFocus Magazine (2015)

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