Metallurgical Examination of a 3-1/4 in. Thick Armor Plate from a German PzKw V (Panther) Tank
WATERTOWN ARSENAL LABS MA
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The object of this study is to make a metallurgical examination of a 3-14 in. armor section from the front of a German PzKw V Panther tank. The 3- 14 in. thick plate was made from an aluminum-killed .50 carbon 2. chromium, . 14 vanadium steel heat treated to a hardness of 262-269 Brinell. Typical of most German armor which has been examined, it was found to be very sound cross- rolled steel. However it exhibited extremely low toughness as indicated by the fracture and Charpy tests making it susceptible to shattering under a shock type ballistic test. The inferior toughness was attributed to a combination of incomplete transformation to martensite upon quenching and temper embrittlement, the latter being readily eliminated without changing the hardness by retempering at 1200 F. followed by a water quench.
- Metallurgy and Metallography