Reference : Standardization of skin penetration assessment for non-lethal impact projectiles
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Paper published in a book
Engineering, computing & technology : Mechanical engineering
Standardization of skin penetration assessment for non-lethal impact projectiles
[en] Standardisation de l'évaluation de la pénétration à l'impact de projectiles non létaux
Papy, Alexandre [Ecole Royale Militaire (Belgique) - ERM > Systèmes d'Armes et Balistique > > >]
Robbe, Cyril mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > Form. doct. sc. ingé. (aérosp. & méca - Bologne)]
Nsiampa Ndompetelo, mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > Doct. sc. ingé. (aérosp. & méca. - Bologne)]
Ballistics 2011: 26th International Symposium
26th International Symposium on Ballistics
du 11 septembre 2011 au 15 septembre 2011
[en] Ballistic ; Non-lethal weapon ; skin penetration
[en] Non-lethal weapons are in use in a lot of law-enforcement and military operations. While most of them are kinetic-energy systems, their effectiveness and dangerous limits on human targets are not clearly defined.
The assessment of non-lethal projectiles effects on human targets follows usually two main directions:
- The evaluation of internal damage
- The evaluation of skin penetration
This papers focuses on the second point. The literature gives some energy density values for a 50% skin penetration probability when different parts of the human body are shot at. These values are mainly based on cadaver and animals tests conducted in USA.
Some countries don’t allow these kinds of tests and it is certainly much more convenient to use a mechanical surrogate for testing purposes. In that case, a standard on which different countries can rely would be a must.
Wayne State University proposed in March 2010 a draft proposal for a surrogate to be used as a basis for NATO standardization. This surrogate is based on ballistic gelatin, foam and chamois leather.
This paper goal is to assess this future standard surrogate regarding:
- The equivalence between cadaver and surrogate penetration results
- The reproducibility of the method and its sensitivity to external parameters
- The availability and feasibility of basis elements of the surrogate.
Our results rely on our own tests in our laboratory, and our views are presented in the final article. We give some recommendations about this standard, based on the statistical analysis of these results and on some practical considerations about the surrogate.

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