Finite Element Modeling and Analysis of an M855 Cartridge

Report No. ARL-TR-3301
Authors: Joseph T. South and Larry W. Burton
Date/Pages: September 2004; 25 pages
Abstract: A finite element model of an M855 brass cartridge inside an M16A4 barrel has been generated. The goal of the research was to develop and validate a baseline mechanical model for a brass M855 cartridge during realistic firing conditions. This model incorporates the strength changes in the cartridge attributable to the variation in the hardness and microstructure produced during manufacturing. The results of the model are used to evaluate the stress, strains, and resulting deformation that a brass cartridge case undergoes during ignition. The model predicts a stress state within the brass that demonstrates a 1.8 factor of safety. The results were validated with experimental measurements from expended M855 cartridges and showed good correlation with the predicted plastic deformation of the model. The creation of the validated model serves as a platform from which alternate lightweight materials for the cartridge case can be evaluated analytically.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2004