Soil hard­ens when struck harder

Down to Earth - - SCIENCE - Phys­i­cal Re­view Let­ters, April 10

SOIL AND sand ac­tu­ally get stronger when they are struck harder. Duke Uni­ver­sity re­searchers in the US de­vel­oped tech­niques that en­abled them to sim­u­late high-speed im­pacts in ar­ti­fi­cial soil and sand in the lab. The find­ings help ex­plain why at­tempts to make ground-pen­e­trat­ing mis­siles go deeper by shoot­ing them harder and faster have had limited suc­cess. Pro­jec­tiles ex­pe­ri­ence more re­sis­tance and stop sooner as their strike speed in­creases, shows the re­search which may lead to bet­ter con­trol of earth-pen­e­trat­ing mis­siles de­signed to de­stroy en­emy bunkers.

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