Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Mohamed B. Trabia, Co-Chair

Second Committee Member

Brendan J. O'Toole, Co-Chair

Third Committee Member

Woosoon Yim

Fourth Committee Member

Georg F. Mauer

Fifth Committee Member

Zhiyong Wang

Graduate Faculty Representative

Samaan G. Ladkany

Number of Pages



Armored military vehicles are heavily used in modern warfare. These vehicles are subjected to lethal attacks from projectiles and land mines. The shocks from these attacks may risk the safety of the occupants and damage the electronic instruments within the vehicle. Extensive research on the analysis and reduction of shocks on civilian vehicles has been performed. Fewer researchers addressed these problems in the case of military vehicles. Space frames are usually used to enhance structural strength of the vehicle while reducing its overall weight. These frames comprise of beams connected together at joints. Recently, space frames were incorporated in military vehicles.

In this dissertation, a finite element model of a military vehicle with an internal space frame is developed. The space frame is composed of hollow square cross-section bars and angle sections. These frame members are bolted to the joints. The space frame is enclosed by uniform-thickness armor, except at the turret. The vehicle is subjected to high impact load that simulates a projectile hit. The vehicle design is optimized to reduce the overall mass, and shock at critical locations of the space frame.

A lab-scale space frame structure derived from the military vehicle space frame is designed and built. The lab-scale space frame is subjected to non-destructive shock propagation tests. A finite element model of this structure is developed with the objective of matching the experimental results.


Armored vehicles; Military – Design and construction; Finite element analysis; Impact; Optimization; Shock; Space frame; Space frame structures; Vehicle


Applied Mechanics | Mechanical Engineering

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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