Depends on what kind of weapon you are trying to armor against.
Nitrile rubber and Polyethylene and Aramib Fiber and such are the best material to stop lasers in the base game.
Because turrets can only have 1 armor layer it makes the most sense to armor them against lasers unless you have a lot of extra weight to spend.
Barrel armor is going to be more dependent on how your gun manages heat generation then what kind of protection you would like to give it. So you usually end up with diamond or graphite aerogel or another material with high thermal diffusivity.
Aramib fiber is strong enough to contain explosion and that makes it great for armoring blast launchers against lasers.
Amorphous Carbon is the best material to stop lasers with the laser ablation cap modded out.
Having a thin skin of high temperature tolerant material such as Amorphous Carbon or Tungsten Carbide or Diamond or Osmium is a good way to stop nuke flashes for nukes that don't detonate on impact.
Higher temperature tolerant radiators are also much more resistant to nukes, reinforced carbon carbon is really light and reasonably temperature tolerant if you need a lot of radiator area. Boron nitride is heavier but cheaper.
Having multiple light weight redundant radiators is generally better then trying to make heavy armored radiators.
To stop detonate on impact high yield nukes use better point defense weapons and don't let them get close.
To stop very small very fast projectiles with light weight armor you will need a multi layer armor profile. You want a thin layer of dense or hard material to break up the projectile (tin, platinum, amorphous carbon, osmium, diamond) , then you will want either a void under that or a thick layer of very light material like graphite aerogel to disperse the impact force (somewhere between 1/4 meter and 1 meter), then you will want a under layer with high tensile strength to weight ratio to catch the fragments. (vanadium chromium steel, reinforced carbon carbon, boron filament, s glass composite, spider silk, UHMWPE fiber, something like that.)
To stop big slow projectiles use distance and maneuvering. Failing that, and if your existing armor profile isn't enough you could try adding a thick layer of vanadium chromium steel or osmium if you can afford the mass.
Thinking about how you craft presents it's armor profile to the enemy is also useful. Having a very thin craft keep its nose pointed to the enemy at all times is helpful. Having a broadside firing craft dodge perpendicular away from the direction of incoming fire is also doable.
Having a 45 degree cone on the face of your armor that you are presenting to the enemy will help a lot.
Having lots of extra fuel tanks is better then trying to armor your fuel tanks. vanadium chromium steel makes the lightest fuel tanks. Fuel tanks can also be used as spaced armor around more mission critical components like crew modules.
Having redundant crew modules and power generation in separate locations on the craft is never a bad thing.
If you want to add additional protection to your crew modules making them out of 2cm of amorphous carbon is worth trying. It at least makes them more nuke tolerant.
Attached is pictures of one of my older designs, but it incorporates a lot of the ideas listed above.
Above covers most of it, I'd just like to add that aerogel stuffing for whipple shields is really good and basically always worth the small added weight. Apart from slowing down bullet fragments, it also prevents them from ricocheting too far down the side of the ship and catching surface modules poking through the armor further back like turrets and launchers. If you don't expect to be attacked from multiple sides you can also reduce your overall armor thickness and add an extra-thick layer only on the front like a tank. Using this technique and assuming you manage to keep your armored face pointed towards most incoming fire you can use about 3-12 times the effective thickness of armor of an evenly armored ship. If you can leverage it that is a massive advantage.
Post by AtomHeartDragon on Mar 21, 2019 20:11:26 GMT
Superhard ceramics (most of those carbides and nitrides, plus some oxides) - thin layers make good outer skin material for bouncing off sandblaster rounds, tanking nuke flash and making life a bit harder for lasers. Most of those materials are colourful or shiny allowing for designs that are both stylish and practical. They also tend to be brittle and shatter rather than melt on impacts making them hard on underlying layers. Boron carbide might be interesting CM module material, but I haven't tested that yet.
Diamond - similar to ceramics and also great against sandblasters, although it tends to be destroyed by flashes as it is transparent, allowing dumping energy across substantial thickness, making it better in combination with the above. Diamond makes for a fantastic heat sink and stiffening barrel armour, but depending on weapon's design too good a heatsink may shatter the barrel via temperature gradient and for very large weapons diamond coating might be prohibitively heavy, so it's not to be used blindly.
Magnesium, aluminium and alloys - light, malleable and melty. They make good primary whipple layer as they can ablate light, high velocity impactors without generating deadly sprays of shrapnel. They are also very prone to nuke/laser vaporization and suffer from sustained barrages, so it might be a good idea to cover them with ceramics. Allegedly 5mm is some sort of sweet thickness for basic aluminium whipple shield- I tend to aim for combined 5mm of MgAlZn alloy base and ceramic layers on top of that. Other metals might be promising but they tend to be much denser and tin in particular doesn't seem like a realistic choice due to lack of thermal stability, even though it apparently performs well as Whipple shielding. Platinum is a favourite of some, but awfully dense. I wonder what about, say, copper?
UHMWPE fiber - I am investigating it as ceramic backing for whipple shield due to its high speed of sound and tensile strength. Rather expensive. Best stock material for blast launchers.
Aramid, PE, etc. - ablative anti-laser armour. Aramid is the best option and has somewhat workable mechanical properties, but it's expensive. PE is the budget one.
Graphite aerogel - designated whipple stuffing. Makes a lot of harmful objects, from spall, to bullets, to ricochets lose their motivation on their way towards vital subsystems and makes burning through a bit harder. For very large or thermally dramatic guns it makes appealing choice of barrel armour due to its low density - low stiffness can be overcame by layering it thick.
Amorphous carbon - one of the workhorse materials, pretty sturdy, thermally hard, light and very stiff. Good for bulk and barrel armour. You can even make coils and RG armatures out of it.
Boron filament - great for sturdy bulk armour and as lightweight, low-volume barrel stiffener for fighting beam deflection.
PBO Fiber - impressive anti-spall material - light, strong, stretches before breaking, hideously expensive. Spider silk or rubber make for budget options.
RCC - lightweight, expensive, good thermal properties and good at bouncing off sandblaster fire. Most stock ships use it as bulk armour. Main drawbacks are cost and tendency to fracture on strong impacts leaving gaping holes.
Osmium - extremely dense, so you can't use it in large quantities. Strong and density makes it interesting as momentum shield of sorts.
CrV Steel - great tensile strength. Might be worth using in armour, but I haven't done so to any extent.
Your engine propellant - great at moving ship out of the way of things you'd rather not be hit by. Also doubles as means for moving ship in all the other circumstances. If it's not a touchy monoprop it may make worthwhile second last line of defence once your armour gets penetrated. Don't keep it all in one tank.
Slope - great for amplifying the effectiveness of your armour.
Overall I prefer mobility and fairly light, but well shaped composite armour. Any armour that holds much longer than it takes to polish all the external turrets, radiators and engines off your ship is worse than pointless.
UHMWPE fiber - I am investigating it as ceramic backing for whipple shield due to its high speed of sound and tensile strength. Rather expensive
I tested a few different whipple shield backings against SmithBlack's insane "Rebuke II" sandblaster ship and this one turned out to have the best performance:weight by a good margin. Not very cost effective is an understatement though and 32cm in an armored nosecone still wasn't enough to get my test ship closer than about 300km.
[...] backing for whipple shield due to its high speed of sound [...]
Can You please elaborate on this one? What does it mean armor-wise? Any reading regarding this particular quality of material?
The Wikipedia article is pretty good. Speed of sound in an object can be used to determine how quickly a pressure wave travels through an object after the initial impact. It can also be used to determine the flex of the object as a result of the primary impact. Where this applies in CDE is the Shear effect, and that's what can contribute to the generation of spall.
P.S. I'm still learning about the concept myself. What I said above might be complete nonsense.
Post by AtomHeartDragon on Mar 22, 2019 15:47:28 GMT
Speed of sound determines how fast the material can react to whatever happens to it. If the impact velocity exceeds speed of sound, then you get shockwaves in the material which in turn create various forms of fun.
Also, one point I forgot to mention: The best anti-laser armour is not aramid, PE, teflon, nitrile rubber or (for the no ablation cap folk) amorphous carbon. The best anti-laser armour is missiles.
thank you all for your answers the help on laser armor, crew and propelant placement is especially helpful because I was constantly getting reckt by the Gunship laser before I had time to do anything -_- (my best way so far for testing my designs is to launch them against the Gunship in sandbox ^^)
high temperature tolerant -> high safe use temperature
superhard ceramics -> ?
no transparent materials -> most are not, but I just have to search online for those I don't know
diamond is good as heat sink -> high specific heat
Here is a table with the materials I analyzed so far:
Safe Use Temperature [K]
Specific Heat [J/(kg*K)]
Thermal Conductivity [W/(m*K)]
Volumetric Heat [J/(K*m3)]
Thermal Diffusivity [m2/s]
Thermal Effusivity [J/(K*m2*s1/2)]
Max Heat Energy stored per kg [J/kg]
Max Heat Energy stored per c [J/c]
Max Heat Energy stored per m3 [J/m3]
Tantalum Hafnium Carbide
2 812 800.00
0.000 007 821
11 391 840 000.00
2 540 000.00
0.000 008 661
10 063 480 000.00
2 720 517.80
0.000 007 719
10 727 001 685.40
1 602 000.00
0.000 149 813
2 653 624.00
5 970 654 000.00
4 284 000.00
0.000 054 855
7 586 760.00
15 932 196 000.00
1 826 880.00
0.001 149 501
1 885 008.00
6 635 228 160.00
4 303 890.00
0.000 076 675
2 846 853.00
14 034 985 290.00
3 049 650.00
0.000 028 692
9 578 950 650.00
1 665 300.00
0.000 360 295
2 445 612.00
5 135 785 200.00
4 563 960.00
0.000 018 409
13 454 554 080.00
1 330 000.00
0.000 030 075
1 640 840.00
2 871 470 000.00
Basalt Fiber Composite
2 310 000.00
0.000 000 016
1 334 760.00
3 670 590 000.00
If the safe use temperature is the only factor at play, then why Tantalum Hafnium Carbide, Hafnium Carbide and Pyrolytic Carbon were not suggested? Osmium is more dense, costs more and has a lower safe use temperature than Pyrolytic Carbon, for example.
Density, Specific Heat and Thermal Conductivity can be found in the material files. Price and Safe Use Temperature I got from the game. Everything else is calculated.
Safe Use Temperature: the armor layer is fine as long as this temperature is not exceeded. The higher, the better.
Specific Heat: how much heat 1 kg of material needs in order to raise its temperature by 1 K or 1 °C (or, in other words, how much heat 1 kg of material can store before its temperature raises by 1 K or 1 °C). The higher, the better, since the material will require more heat to get hotter (or, can store more heat but not get much hot).
Thermal Conductivity: how fast the heat propagates inside the material. The higher, the better, since the material exposed to the flash needs to cool by dispersing the heat to the deeper layers.
Volumetric Heat: how much heat 1 m3 of material needs in order to raise its temperature by 1 K or 1 °C. Same as Specific Heat, just with 1 m3 of material instead of 1 kg. It is equal to Density * Specific Heat.
Thermal Diffusivity: rate of temperature propagation inside a material caused by the heat propagation. A high thermal conductivity but a low thermal diffusivity means that the material is conducting a lot of heat from its hot to its cold face, but its cold face's temperature is increasing slowly. I'm not entirely sure, but I'm guessing it's best if this value is high: the cold face is going to get hotter faster (which should imply a greater rate of heat transfer to the underlying layer), but if I'm not mistaken that means that the hot face is going to be colder faster since it's reacing a thermal equilibrium faster. If anyone can confirm or deny this, it would be great. It is equal to Thermal Conductivity / Volumetric Heat.
Thermal Effusivity: rate of heat transfer from a hotter material to another, colder material. This should be high for the outermost material and low for the second-to-outermost material, because this will mean a higher contact surface temperature, which should result in a higher rate of heat transfer (the rate of heat transfer goes up the greater the temperature difference is, in this case between the contact surface of the two armor layers and the cold face of the inner one). It is equal to (Thermal Conductivity * Volumetric Heat)1/2.
Max Heat Energy stored per [...]: This is the amount of heat energy that the material is storing when it is at the Safe Use Temperature. Higher is better, but remember that at all times the heat that the material can actually absorb is lower than this value because the material is not at 0 K. The flash does not heat all the material uniformally, but just the external surface which might melt or even evaporate... but I'm not taking these factors into consideration because otherwise the external armor layer is going to be compromised. It is equal to Safe Use Temperature * Specific Heat for 1 kg of material, Safe Use Temperature * Specific Heat / Price for 1 c of material, and Safe Use Temperature * Volumetric Heat for 1 m3 of material.
Please correct me if anything I said is wrong.
Bouncing light projectiles
I don't know what makes a material hard or sturdy, but what about Liquid Crystal Polymer Fiber? It has a high modulus of resilience ((yield strength)^2 / (2 * Young's modulus)), so it's less likely to deform plastically (or in this case, shatter) on impact. Ductile materials usually absorb a lot of energy before breaking, so they are best suited to stop heavy projectiles... but since they deform plastically, they might not survive a second impact. Or at least this is what I understand. I'm not familiar with this part of physics, but by a cursory look it seems impossible to calculate the toughness of a material with just the data provided by the game.