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Are depleted uranium rounds full-metal-jacket, too?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 06:51:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I bet they are. DU is used for its armour-penetrating characteristics including in rifles, where uranium (or tungsten) covered rounds are used to penetrate body armour. It would be insane to waste the armour penetration by using an expanding bullet. The heavier and more energetic the bullet, the easier it will penetrate the armour, but the easier it will also penetrate the body, which means less energy is deposited inside it and less damage is caused. When using full metal jacket the exit hole is often almost as small as the entry hole. An expanding bullet (soft-point and to an even greater degree hollow-point) will splash and flatten out against body armour, often not penetrating and not doing any more damage than a massive bruise, like if you were hit by a sledge hammer. However, if you are not wearing armour the exit hole, if there even is one, might be the size of a balled fist.

This is why you must use full metal jacket in war but must use expanding ammunition while hunting: hunting is about killing as efficiently and quickly as possible, while in war you wan't to avoid killing the enemy if possible, the goal is just taking him out of action. Not only does that mean that you'll be better of if hit yourself, but a wounded enemy soldier is a bigger drag on the enemy resources than a dead one is.

Furthermore, when we're talking about autocannon or tank shells, it would be completely useless to use anything but full metal jacket. Anyone hit by one of those is torn to pieces due to the heavy caliber and massive kinetic energy, no matter the design of the tip of the shell, not to mention that autocannon shells are often explosive. APFSDS are not, but due to the massive kinetic energy they'll turn your body into a fine red mist if you're hit.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 08:53:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
uranium (or tungsten) covered rounds are used to penetrate body armour
But that is the problem: uranium cover is more toxic than lead cover. I was thinking more uranium core and steel cover.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 09:22:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Woops! Seems I miswrote again. The core is uranium or tungsten, while the covering material is often teflon.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 09:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you want to repost the comment? I'll hide the original :P

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 09:28:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see no real reason to hide my ignorance and confusion. ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 10:02:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet phosphorus shells are banned by some treaties and conventions, while the phosphorus that remains after an incendiary strike will eventually be turned into fertilizer.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 07:25:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Depleted Uranium should go the way of White Phosphorus.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 05:05:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WP shells are as far as I know not banned by any widely adopted treaties, especially not the chemical weapons treaty.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 08:49:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And another problem is the fine particles created, both inside the tank or other target and by the projectiles that miss and strike rocks, etc. Given the bio-toxicity of DU these projectiles, as described by Chris Busby, should be far higher on the list of things to be banned than landmines. A landmine is bad and can maim or kill anyone who detonated it accidentally, but they stay where they are placed. DU can be picked up and blown around the earth in sand storms.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 04:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that Uranium burns spontaneously is seen as a desirable property be weapons manufacturers, so DU rounds are not only deep penetrators, but incendiary.

But when Uranium burns it generates Uranium Oxide dust, which is much more hazardous than metallic Uranium.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 06:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
KE penetrating shells aren't steel jacketed

Kinetic energy penetrator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To maximize the amount of kinetic energy released on the target, the penetrator must be made of a dense material, such as tungsten carbide or depleted uranium (DU) alloy (Staballoy). The hardness of the penetrator is of less importance, but is still a factor as abrasion is a major component of the penetrator defeat mechanism. As DU is itself not particularly hard, it is alloyed with nickel, zinc, or both. DU is pyrophoric; the heated fragments of the penetrator ignite after impact on contact with air, setting fire to fuel and/or ammunition in the target vehicle, thereby compensating for the lack of an explosive warhead in the penetrator. Additionally, DU penetrators exhibit significant adiabatic shear band formation. A common misconception is that, during impact, fractures along these bands cause the tip of the penetrator to continuously shed material, maintaining the tip's conical shape, whereas other materials such as unjacketed tungsten tend to deform into a less effective rounded profile, an effect called "mushrooming". Actually, the formation of adiabatic shear bands means that the sides of the "mushroom" tend to break away earlier, leading to a smaller head on impact, though it will still be significantly "mushroomed". Tests have shown that the hole bored by a DU projectile is of a narrower diameter than for a similar tungsten projectile


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 10:41:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why don't you folk use flint-tipped arrows like normal people?

<ducks>

Though one had to use a deer horn and lots of muscle to penetrate a well-made shield. Plus, you were then close enough to be forced to see the enemy's eyes/face. Made one think before acting.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 10:58:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At last, a voice of sanity.  Why are we discussing the military efficacy of various types of warheads and projectiles on ET?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 11:07:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're discussing their toxicity.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 12:55:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't this a diary on Liberal Interventionism?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 12:56:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe I'm just a bit squeamish about people using their intelligence to design weapons optimised to maximise  death and suffering and opposed to the arms industry in general.  Of course in the "real world" you have to live with these things and accept they are part of "conflict resolution".  I prefer to concentrate on alternative non-violent processes.  Call me a wimp.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 01:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I won't call you a wimp. Just a non-hunter. ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 09:53:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are correct in guessing I am a non-hunter, however I am also not sure what firing DU shells from several miles range has to do with hunting.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 05:25:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, my point was that being a hunter gives you a basic interest in different kinds of ammunition, especially as there are so many regulations covering what kind of ammunition you are allowed to use at different kinds of game. :)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Apr 3rd, 2011 at 08:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They aren't steel jacketed, but my point is that they certainly aren't of the expanding variety. They use materials even harder than steel for improved penetration.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 09:52:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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