Prestressed Carbon Fiber Composite Overwrapped Gun Tube
ARMY ARMAMENT RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER WATERVLIET NY BENET LABS
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The emphasis on lightweight large caliber weapons systems has placed the focus on the use of advanced composite materials. Using composite materials not only directly removes weight from the gun tube but, by better balancing the tube, allows the use of smaller drive systems, thus enhancing the weight loss. Additionally the use of high stiffness composites helps with pointing accuracy and alleviates the dynamic strain phenomenon encountered with high velocity projectiles. Traditionally there were two issues with composite jackets the coefficient of thermal expansion mismatch between the steel substrate and the composite jacket causing a gap, and the lack of favorable prestress in the jacket. Dealing with these issues greatly complicated the manufacturing process to the point where massproducing the barrels would have been problematic at best. By using a thermoplastic resin winding under tension the manufacturability of the barrels has been greatly improved, the gap has been eliminated, and a favorable prestress has been achieved.
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