A physically based crack softening approach to modelling the failure of brittle materials that have been subjected to dynamic loading is presented and applied to a two-dimensional non-linear transient dynamic hydrocode. It is assumed that there are a number of evenly distributed and orientated micro flaws within the brittle material that are activated by a dynamically applied stress. Modes I and II stress intensity factors are calculated and compared to critical values, at which point the cracks grow at a velocity dependent on mode I stress intensity factor. The strength of the ceramic is degraded according to the length of the cracks. A simulation of a steel sphere impacting and penetrating a ceramic target at 1500 m/s is presented. Comparisons are drawn from experimental data
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