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Testing the performance and functionality of materials by subjecting them to a range of extreme loading conditions, including shock loading, ballistic loading, dynamic tension, compression and shear. Diagnostic techniques are used to understand the precise impact of extreme dynamic stress.

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Competitive advantage

  • A unique gas-gun capability that can:
  • Fire projectiles to velocities of 4500 m/s
  • Conduct flyer-plate tests to ‘shock’ materials
  • Launch any projectile shape


  • Maximise survivability by developing new protective structures for Defence
  • Minimise the weight burden on the soldier by developing lightweight durable structures
  • Reduce injury by developing a better understanding of the behaviour of the human body to dynamic loading

Successful applications

  • Probing the ballistic performance of a bunker design
  • Developing models for armour materials
  • Understanding the role of a bullet’s jacket during the penetration of hard targets

Capabilities and facilities

  • Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (compression and tension)
  • Instrumented drop-tower for low velocity impact studies
  • High-speed photography equipment and laser-based diagnostics
  • Flash x-ray
  • Computational codes for simulating dynamic events

Our partners

  • Defence Science and Technology
  • Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
  • DefendTex