The Development of Gun Barrel Processing That Linearly Gradates From A Ceramic Liner To A Metal Exterior

Period of Performance: 08/13/2003 - 02/07/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Materials & Electrochemical Research
7960 South Kolb Road
Tucson, AZ 85756
Principal Investigator


State-of-the-art gun barrels exhibit excessive chemical and mechanical wear when subjected to the advanced requirements of rapid fire with high flame temperature propellants. Ceramic and ceramic based interior liners offer significant potential to meet advanced requirements, but past processing of fitting inside a steel barrel creating an abrupt interface has resulted in an inability of withstanding the mechanical and thermal cyclic loads under virtually all firing scenarios. A smooth and linear gradation from the ceramic face interior to a fully metallic exterior offers an excellent probability such liners can meet advanced requirements for large guns with a greater than five inch bore. This program will investigate monolithic ceramics and ceramic matrix composite, and refractory metal cermets as interior liners utilizing fabrication processing that results in a linear and smooth gradation from the liner composition to a fully metallic exterior of steel. In addition, a high thermal conductivity copper matrix composite with mechanical properties at least equivalent to steel will also be investigated as the barrel structure. The various materials combinations will be fabricated, characterized and down selected for barrel section deliveries in this program and for optimization in Phase II. In addition to gun barrel applications for all gun types from 5.56 mm to 8 inch throughout DoD, materials that grade from a ceramic base to a structural metal have applications in both IC and gas turbine engines, clutches and brakes, energy conversion systems, insulations, and general wear and erosion components.