Below is a brief list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to MEE and HVIL as well as corresponding material testing, characterization, and overall research.
What is the Hypervelocity Impact Laboratory?
The Hypervelocity Impact Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility that is capable of testing the response of advanced materials to hypervelocity impact (HVI) using a two-stage light gas gun (2SLGG) and corresponding aeroballistic range. The purpose of the laboratory is to enable unique ultra-high-rate materials characterization and multi-scale computational model development, validation, and implementation.
Where is the Hypervelocity Impact Laboratory (HVIL) located?
The Hypervelocity Impact Laboratory (HVIL) is located on the 2nd floor of the Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR) on the Texas A&M University RELLIS campus.
What kinds of targets and projectiles are tested under HVI conditions?
Targets include polymers, high-performance concrete (HPC), advanced carbon composites, metals, additively manufactured structures, etc. Projectiles include stainless steel, tool steel, carbon steel, aluminum, polycarbonate, nylon, ceramics, etc.
Can the Hypervelocity Impact Laboratory (HVIL) simulate other hypervelocity scenarios besides impacting targets?
Yes. The laboratory has the capability to simulate environmental effects on hypervelocity/hypersonic projectiles. Various atmospheric pressures and conditions (e.g., rain and dust clouds) can be generated.
What are the velocity capabilities of the gas gun at the Hypervelocity Impact Laboratory?
Our standard 2SLGG muzzle velocities range from 1.5-8 km/s (3,355-18,000 mph), although testing at lower speeds has previously been performed.
Who should I contact about getting involved in research at HVIL?
Please see our Work With Us page.
What diagnostic equipment is used to provide images and perform measurements during experiments?
An ultra-high speed camera is used to provide detailed images of the target and debris cloud during and after impact. The velocity of the projectile prior to impact is measured by a laser intervalometer system in conjunction with a dynamic delay generator. High-Speed Schlieren Imaging is used to visualize shock waves and shock-shock interactions in the target tank. A flash x-ray system has recently been installed that is capable of providing radiographs of HVI projectiles, targets, and debris to inspect penetration events, projectile/target fragmentation, ejecta/debris makeup, etc. One core research area within the MEE group and the HVIL is the development of novel diagnostic instruments and experimental capabilities. Our team is currently working to incorporate digital in-line holography (DIH), photon doppler velocimetry (PDV), digital image correlation (DIC), target heating/cooling, etc. into HVI experiments. For more information on the HVIL diagnostics and testing capabilities, see our facility page.
Who funds the MEE and HVIL scientific research?
Current MEE research is funded by the Army Futures Command (AFC), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), US Army Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC), National Science Foundation (NSF), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Joint Hypersonics Transition Office (JHTO), and the Department of Defense (DoD).