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Tungsten Alloy Armor Piercing

What is Tungsten Alloy Armor Piercing?

Tungsten alloy armor piercing shell is a type of ammunition designed to penetrate armor. From the 1860s to 1950s, a major application of armor-piercing tungsten projectiles was to defeat the thick armor carried on many warships. From the 1920s onwards, armor-piercing weapons were required for anti-tank missions.

Armor Piercing Penetrator
Tungsten Armor Piercing

Tungsten alloy armor piercing shell must withstand the shock of punching through armor plating. Shells designed for this purpose have a greatly strengthened case with an especially hardened and shaped nose, and a much smaller bursting charge. Some smaller-caliber AP shells have an inert filling, or incendiary charge in place of the HE bursting charge. The AP shell is now little used in naval warfare, as modern warships have little or no armor protection. The product remains the preferred round in tank warfare, as it has a greater "first-hit kill" probability than a high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) round, especially against a target with composite armor, and because of higher muzzle velocity, is also more accurate than a HEAT round.

Tungsten alloy armor piercing cartridges are also available as small arms ammunition, primarily for use as an anti-materiel round.

Tungsten Alloy Armor Piercing Ammunition

EEP in the perforation of target plates front and back
Tungsten Alloy Armor Piercing
Tungsten alloy armor piercing ammunition is used to penetrate heavy hardened armored targets such as armored vehicles, concrete bunkers, tanks and other defenses. Depending on the caliber of the firearms. It is ammunition consists of a penetrator constructed of tungsten alloy or tungsten carbide, or depleted uranium, enclosed within a softer jacket, such as copper or aluminum. The product ammunition can range from rifle- and pistol-caliber rounds all the way up to tank rounds.

Rifle and pistol rounds are usually built around a penetrator of hardened steel or tungsten. Aircraft and tank rounds sometimes use a tungsten alloy core. The penetrator is a pointed mass of high-density material that is designed to retain its shape and carry the maximum possible amount of energy as deeply as possible into the target. Depleted-uranium penetrators have the advantage of being hydrophobic and self-sharpening on impact, resulting in intense heat and energy focused on a minimal area of the target's armor. Some rounds also use explosive or incendiary tips to aid in the penetration of thicker armor. High Explosive Incendiary/Armor Piercing Ammunition combines a tungsten carbide penetrator with an incendiary and explosive tip.

Armor Piercing Penetrator Structure
Tungsten Alloy Armor Piercing
Rifle ammunition generally carries its hardened penetrator within a copper or cupronickel jacket, similar to the jacket that would surround lead in a conventional projectile. Upon impact on a hard target, the copper case is destroyed, but the penetrator continues its motion and penetrates the target. It's ammunition for pistols has also been developed and uses a design similar to the rifle ammunition.

The entire projectile is not normally made of the same material as the penetrator because the physical characteristics that make a good penetrator (i.e. extremely tough, hard metal) make the material equally harmful to the barrel of the gun firing the cartridge.

(a) and (b): EEP in the perforation of target plates front and back; The aftereffect target perforated

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