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The Performance of a Nanocrystalline Tungsten Composite in Ballistic Impacts



L S. Magness, L Kesckes, Frank S. Biancaniello, Stephen D. Ridder, M Chung, D Kapoor


A novel tungsten heavy alloy with a nanocrystalline microstructure was produced. Tungsten powders were ball milled in a controlled atmosphere environment, with rapidly solidified powders of a binder alloy known to exhibit a stress-induced martensitic transformation. The milled powders were consolidated in a Hot Isostatic Press (HIP). Microstructural examinations and microhardness tests were conducted on the consolidated product. In quarter-scale ballistic testing, the penetration performance of the nanostructured tungsten composite was compared to those of penetrators of conventional tungsten-based composites and depleted uranium alloys, and showed promise as a kinetic energy penetrator material. Optical and SEM metallographic examinations of the residual penetrator debris examine the flow and failure of the nanocrystalline penetrator material.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Conference on Nanostructure Science Metrology and Technology
Conference Dates
September 5-7, 2001
Conference Title
SPIE Proceedings


adiabatic shear localization, ball mill, depleted uranium, environmental concerns, hardness, HIP, microstructure, nanostructure, penetrator
Created September 1, 2001, Updated February 17, 2017