Long-Life, High-Performance, Cost-Effective Refractory Metal Bore Surface Treatments for Gun Barrels and Missile Launch Tubes

Period of Performance: 10/19/1998 - 09/15/1999

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ultramet
12173 Montague Street Array
Pacoima, CA 91331
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Gun barrel and missile launch tube wear limits the life and performance of air and surface weapons systems. NASWT requirements for enhanced accuracy, longer range, and higher delivered energy on target demand higher energy, higher temperature propellants and new projectile designs. These requirements accelerate gun barrel and missile launch tube wear and, in some cases, preclude the implementation of new propellants or projectiles. Alternatives have been proposed to inhibit wear. Potentially the simplest, most cost-effective such alternative is the addition of wear- and corrosion-resistant refractory metal bore surface treatments to existing barrels and tubes. The success of this approach has been limited to date due to high barrel length-to-diameter (L/D) ratios and related limitations of current processes for fabricating refractory metal liners within high L/D bores. These limitations are especially great for rifled barrels. To overcome these limitations, Ultramet proposes to use an innovative new low temperature chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process to apply refractory metals directly within conventional gun steel barrels without degrading or distorting the steel jacket. In Phase I, specific applications and goals will be identified and the feasibility of fabricating net-shape refractory metal bore surface treatments will be demonstrated. The Phase I option and Phase II follow-on project will scale up to full-scale barrels.