Characterization of Long SiAlON Ceramic Tubes for Gun Barrel Applications

Report No. ARL-CR-573
Authors: Andrew K. Woodruff and John Hellmann
Date/Pages: June 2006; 118 pages
Abstract: The extent of density gradients, dimensional fidelity, and strength was examined on several different lots of Kennametal TK4 SiAlON proposed for use as gun-tube liners. The formal U.S. Army Research Laboratory designation for this material is ITK4. Five different tubes of material were received, ITK4-4 (200 mm in length), ITK4-6 (100 mm in length), ITK4-7 (100 mm in length), ITK4-8 (100 mm in length), and ITK4-14 (200 mm in length). Immersion density, roundness based on measurements of inner and outer diameters, and strength via diametral compression of rings sectioned from tubes was characterized. The densities of all specimens tested were similar with few exceptions. The longer tubes exhibited a slightly more pronounced density gradient along the tube axes relative to the shorter tubes. However, none of the tubes showed greater than a 1% difference in density along their lengths. All tubes were within 1% out-of-roundness, with the majority of samples less than 0.5% out-of-round. The shorter tubes (ITK4-6, -7, and -8) had characteristic strengths approximately 50?65% higher than the longer tubes (ITK4-4 and -14); longer tubes exhibited a significantly higher extent of strength uniformity (22?39% difference in strength along the length) than the shorter tubes (nominally 5%). Higher densities correlated with higher strengths.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2006