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Tungsten Composite Fragmenting Warhead

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1997 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
12173 Montague Street Pacoima, CA 91331-2210
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1997
Title: Tungsten Composite Fragmenting Warhead
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $507,471.00


Fragmenting warheads offer a high kill radius and lethality against lightly armored targets such as aircraft, personnel carriers, entrenched personnel, missiles, and spacecraft. One of the easiest ways to increase the penetration capability of a kinetic energy penetrator, shaped charge liner, fragmenting warhead, or explosively formed penetrator is by increasing the density of the material from which it is fabricated. Tungsten and tungsten carbide are two of the most attractive warhead materials, being low in cost and having densities comparable to depleted uranium and tantalum, but pose formidable design and fabrication challenges because of their limited ductility below ¿1000¿C. Unfortunately, current tungsten fragmenting warhead designs have poor material yield (material actually formed into the penetrator rod or ball). One method to improve performance (yield) is through the development of tungsten composites, which combine the good forming capabilities (tensile ductility) of materials such as iron, tantalum, or copper with the high density of tungsten to yield an optimal warhead. In this Phase I program, Ultramet proposes to investigate the effects of matrix composition, distribution, properties, and composite microstructure on tungsten composites for EFP and fragmenting warhead application through fabrication and testing of coupons and warheads from a series of tungsten composite compositions and microstructures. Fabrication techniques will be demonstrated leading to microstructural and compositional control of tungsten and tungsten carbide composites using two matrices; elevated strain rate testing will be conducted on selected compositions and microstructures; and spall testing will be conducted to relate composition, processing, microstructure, and properties to warhead design.

Principal Investigator:

Andrew J. Sherman

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

12173 Montague Street Pacoima, CA 91331

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No