Weapons. Application of tungsten
The artillery of the 1950-ies
In the late 1950-ies, the primary material used as creating a kinetic energy subcaliber projectile, was made by tungsten carbide. Although his colossal hardness (Rc 55+) represented by the difficulty to handle, but a high density (about 13 g/cm3) was allowed to pack it in a small amount and compared to the closest competitor — a high-carbon article, which provides a quantum leap in penetration capability against a single armour layer. The first model was developed in the UK shell M392.
In the United States work was carried out under the program of development of 152 mm projectile XM578 to support the tank MBT-70. The program was used to 97.5% tungsten, density 18.5 g/cm3). The core was enclosed in a wedge-shaped housing made of Maraging steel.
Tungsten alloys are included in steel armour, which allows to increase the strength of the tank’s cover several times.
Parts of rocket engines (nozzles, rudders, thrust). To stabilize the flight of the rocket used gyroscopes with special counterweights from tungsten with high inertia that can withstand the rotation speed of 1500−1800 rpm.
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