Cranfield University logoCranfield University

Dynamic Response Group

Armour System

Understanding the dynamic behaviour of materials is particularly helpful when designing structures that are subjected to impact or shock.  

Part of the Centre for Defence Engineering, the Dynamic Response Group has a wide interest in the dynamic behaviour of materials used in armour systems, vehicle structures, and munitions.  In addition, more recently, the group has moved into novel areas including the high strain-rate behaviour of biological systems such as seeds.  

The Group consists of three core personnel – one Academic, one Research Fellow and a dedicated Technician.  In addition, there are currently two full-time PhD students and the group actively supports a wide cohort of MSc students on an annual basis.  

The Group is also a founding member of the Institute of Shock Physics, which is dedicated to studying the fundamental science behind shock waves, high velocity collisions and extremes of pressure and heat.  This Institute, hosted by Imperial College London aims to increase UK capabilities in the field of shockwave science by attracting and training new researchers.

The Dynamic Response Group is led by Dr Gareth Appleby-Thomas.


  • Our impact and facilities

    The Dynamic Response Group offers a range of education, research and consultancy services within its areas of expertise,

    To study the dynamic behaviour of materials and structures a wide range of facilities are available ranging from drop towers (a wider range of these is available within the Impact and Armour Group), through split Hopkinson pressure bars to a selection of 22 to 75-mm gas-guns.  The latter are capable of launching relatively large projectile packages at velocities up-to 1200 m/s and smaller projectiles up-to 1500 m/s.   Available diagnostics range from in-material stress gauges through interferometric systems and high speed photography and video to a multi-channel flash X-ray system.  This suite of capability allows interrogation of the dynamic response of materials and structures at strain-rate 108 /s.

  • Our people

    • Dr Gareth James Appleby-Thomas - Acting Head of Group and Lecturer
    • Mr David Christopher Wood - Research Fellow in Dynamic Response
    • Mr Andrew Roberts - Technical Support Officer
  • Current research projects

    Current research projects within the Dynamic Response Group include:

    • Panspermia: The Shock Response of Organic Structures as Models for Planetary Impact Survival
    • The High Strain-Rate and Shock Response of Porcine Tissues
    • Understanding Ceramic Armour
    • Ned Kelly's Armour
    • Shock Behaviour of Polymer Materials
    • Normal and Oblique Penetration Studies in CFRP Laminates
    • Lightweight Armour Optimisation Studies
    • The Dynamic Behaviour of Tungsten Carbide
    • Low Collateral Damage Explosive Reactive Armour
    • Shock Processing for the Food Industry
    • Dynamic Behaviour of Nano-reinforced Polymer Resins for Transparent Armour Applications
    • Inducing Dwell in Ceramic-faced Armour Systems
  • Professional Development (CPD)

    The academic background of the group members means that the Dynamic Response Group is able to provide a wide range of academic services.  In particular, short courses linked to armour systems (such as Armour System Design) can be provided in concert with the Impact and Armour Group.  

    Further, tailored courses focused on key aspects of high-rate loading (shock, detonics, etc.) can be easily provided with additional support readily available from key experts with Cranfield University if required.


Related Areas