This investigation examines the role of porosity in the perforation resistance of 3-D woven fiber reinforced epoxy panels under impact by rigid projectiles at velocities of 100 to 200 m/s. Incident and residual velocities are measured to determine the energy absorption by the target. To compare samples of different areal density, the energy is normalized by the target areal density. The sample responses segregate by porosity, and the more highly porous samples absorb a greater amount of specific energy. The reason for this is unclear but may be due to the deflection of matrix cracks by pores or due to the greater flexibility of the fibers to absorb energy through tensile straining. Although porosity is generally an undesirable property in textile composites, the induction of porosity may result in reduced panel weight without degradation of ballistic performance, a clear advantage for weight minimization.

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