Single-yarn impact results have been reported by multiple authors in the past, providing insight on the fundamental physics involved in fabric impact. This insight allowed developing full fabric models that were able to reproduce properly wave propagation, deflection, and ballistic limits. This paper proposes a similar experimental methodology but for a specific composite material made of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. The presence of the polyurethane matrix in the composite is expected to slow down wave propagation. But the high-speed photographic tests reported in this paper indicate that wave propagation in strips and single-layer material is similar to that expected for dry fiber. An explanation is proposed for this unexpected result. This paper also reports the critical velocities (i.e., impact velocities that fail the fibers immediately) measured for the composite material and compares them to the velocities expected from the theory. The velocity is accurately predicted when taking into account wave interactions in front of the projectile. Finally, tests on multilayer composites are presented. In particular, a flash produced under the projectile during the first few microseconds was recorded with high-speed video cameras. A simplified study of the temperature increment upon impact indicates that the material may be reaching the autoignition point. This mechanism is speculated to be the origin of the flash systematically observed.

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