An original simplified formula is proposed to estimate the load history caused by ballistic impacts characterized by the so-called bullet splash phenomenon, consisting in the complete bullet fragmentation with no penetration of the target. The formula is based on the progressive momentum variation of the mass of the bullet impacting on a planar plate normal to the impact direction. The method aims at creating a simplified approach to assess the response of structures by means of explicit finite element simulations without the need of modelling the interaction between impactor and target. The results demonstrate that the proposed method can be used to estimate the forces generated by bullet-splash phenomena of 9x21mm full metal jacket bullets and effectively applied to finite element simulations allowing significant reductions in computational cost.
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