High-Strength, Wear-Resistant Nanostructural Composites for Hard-Target Ballistic Penetrators

Period of Performance: 03/16/1998 - 03/15/2000


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Hyper-therm, Inc.
18411 Gothard Street
Hunington Beach, CA 92648
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Next generation ballistic penetrators are critically dependent on the development of high density materials that possess both high strength and high toughness. The utilization of a higher density material results in an increased kinetic energy; thereby improving penetrator performance. Lethality is critically dependent on the ability to maintain geometric stability of the weapon. Therefore in addition to strength and toughness, a refractory, wear-resistant material may be essential for effective sand and earth ballistic penetrators.The Phase I program has demonstrated the fabrication of a tungsten-based nanolayered composite material that possesses strength and hardness greater than the rule-of-mixtures expectations. The material is fabricated through a high rate chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process utilizing economically viable, low cost feed materials. The CVD process allows precise and reproducible control of constituent material layer thicknesses of less than 50 nm. The Phase II program will examine several technical approaches towards implementation of these novel materials in penetrator cases and/or nose-tips. Additionally material property optimization and scale-up issues will be addressed. Nanolayered materials that possess enhanced strength and toughness combined with excellent wear resistance have much broader implications for the industrial tool and wear market.