The Oblique-Plate Impact Experiment

Abou-Sayed, A.S., Clifton, R.J., and Hermann, L.
Paper presented at Experimental Mechanics volume 16, pages 127–132



An experimental method is presented for the study of one-dimensional plane waves corresponding to combined pressure and shear. The experiment involves the impact of two skewed flat plates. A projectile plate is accelerated using a gas gun and made to impact a target plate in a vacuum chamber. The projectile and target plates are parallel, but inclined relative to the axis of the gun so that the particle velocity in the target has components both normal and parallel to the plane of impact. The particle velocity at the target rear (free) surface is recorded as a function of time. The normal velocity component is monitored using a laser velocity interferometer; the transverse motion is monitored using a shadow technique. The measured wave profiles can be compared to theoretical predictions based on one-dimensional-wave theory.