Research on the Availability of Mechanisms to Protect Against In-Field Gun Tube Rupture

The SCat Gun System is comprised of a 155 mm Howitzer weapon with a M199 gun tube and 540 feet of catch tubes (Photo Credit: U.S. Army).

The SCat Gun System is comprised of a 155-mm Howitzer weapon with a M199 gun tube and 540 ft of catch tubes (photo credit: U.S. Army,

Posted: October 14, 2020 | Completed: July 7, 2020
Are there existing solutions to protect a gun crew in case of barrel failure initiating from an inclusion, without limiting the weapon's usage?

DSIAC received a technical inquiry regarding protection from in-field gun tube rupture.  In particular, there is a possibility that a 120-mm mortar tube could rupture due to inclusions present in the microstructure of the steel used to construct the gun tube. This rupture would release a high-temperature gas flow at 19,000 psi if the failure is a ductile fracture. If the failure is a brittle fracture, pieces of steel would also be released. The inquiring organization is looking for possible solutions to protect the crew in case of this event, without limiting the weapon’s usage. Materials engineering and ballistician subject matter experts at the Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc. performed literature searches using DTIC, open sources, and university libraries’ identity work related to this and provided information on potentially complementary technologies.

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