Military rotorcrafts are constantly exposed to risk from bullet impacts because they operate in a battle environment. Because bullet impact damage can be deadly to crews, the fuel tanks of military rotorcraft must be designed taking extreme situations into account. Fuel tank design factors to be considered include the internal fluid pressure, the structural stress on the part impacted, and the kinetic energy of bullet strikes. Verification testing using real objects is the best way to obtain these design data effectively, but this imposes substantial burdens due to the huge cost and necessity for long-term preparation. The use of various numerical simulation tests at an early design stage can reduce the risk of trial-and-error and improve the prediction of performance. The present study was an investigation of the effects of bullet impacts on a fuel tank assembly using numerical simulation based on SPH (smoothed particle hydrodynamics), and conducted using the commercial package, LS-DYNA. The resulting equivalent stress, internal pressure, and kinetic energy of the bullet were examined in detail to evaluate the possible use of this numerical method to obtain configuration design data for the fuel tank assembly.
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