US 3508493 A
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April 28, 1970 P. J. OLENICK, JR
DYNAMIC'W'ARHEAD FRAGMENT Filed Oct. 24, 1968 FIG. I
B F Q F/GZ PETER .4 0L
ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,508,493 DYNAMIC WARHEAD FRAGMENT Peter J. Olenick, Jr., Dahlgren, Va., assignor to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy Filed Oct. 24, 1968, Ser. No. 773,360 Int. Cl. F42b 13/48 US. Cl. 10267 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE There is disclosed a fragmentary type ordnance device wherein each fragment is capable of sub-fragmenting upon impact with the target in order to greatly enhance kill probability. Each fragment has a core of filler material which acts as a solid during acceleration but becomes molten or soft from heat during flight. At impact the filler breaks up into small size fragments which transfer their energy to the target.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST The invention defined herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The present invention relates to fragmentation warheads and, more particularly, to the construction of the individual fragments of the warhead.
Description of the prior art In the field of warheads, it has been the general practice to employ solid metal fragments. Upon impact with the target these solid fragments pierce the target. There is little transfer of fragment energy to the target. Against an aircraft target, for example, there is complete penetration of the target leaving a small hole. Kills are predicated on the fragment hitting a vulnerable component in the aircraft. Those missing vulnerable components do little more than puncture the target and exit with a high residual velocity. Although such devices serve the purpose, they have not proved entirely satisfactory under all conditions of service for the reason that considerable difficulty has been exeperienced in obtaining a warhead that will transfer the fragment energy to the target upon contact thereby destroying the target structure completely rather than merely penetrating the target.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The general purpose of this invention is to provide a new fragment concept for a fragmentation type warhead which embraces all the advantages of similarly employed warheads and possesses none of the aforedescribed disadvantages. To attain this, the present invention contemplates the utilization of a solid core material encapsulated in a jacket. The core material transforms from a solid during explosive impulse to a liquid, or soft material, before striking the target. Transformation is by shock heating and the jacket provides a favorable drag configuration during flight. On target impact the fragment breaks up and each sub-fragment transfers its energy to the target instead of penetrating and exiting without break-up or loss of energy.
An object fthe present invention is to provide a fragment which will transfer much or all of its available energy to the target on impact.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a all 3,508,493 Patented Apr. 28, 1970 fragmentary type warhead of suflicient structural strength to remain intact until it is fired in a weapon and will fragment upon impact.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a disintegrating warhead that when fired will produce identical or greater force on the target than solid metal fragments. Other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the fragment of the present invention; and
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative shape fragment.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is shown in FIG. 1, which illustrates a preferred embodiment, a fragment 11 having an outer shell 12 and a filler material 13 enclosed therein. FIG. 2, constituting an alternative embodiment, shows a fragment 21 having a square-shaped configuration comprising a thin outer shell 12 and a filler material 13 also enclosed therein.
Outer shell 12 may be composed of any material which retains its gemetry during acceleration and flight and also provides confinement for the filler 13 until impact with the target occurs. Such material could either be steel, aluminum, plastic or other synthetic materials having like characteristics. Filler 13 is a material which acts as a solid during acceleration of the fragment but becomes molten or soft during the later stages of acceleration and flight to the target. Upon impact with the target, the filler breaks into small size fragments which transfer their energy to the target. Transformation of state occurs due to shock heating and the fragment goes from solid to liquid. During flight the outer shell provides a favorable drag configuration. On target impact the fragment breaks up and each sub-fragment transfers its energy to the target instead of penetrating and exiting without a break-up or loss of energy. The filler must be made of a material which melts or becomes ductile due to heating, e.g., Woods alloy, or alloys of tin, zinc, lead, etc., or may be a sintered material such as tungsten alloy or granular cast iron or any other material in which the bonding matrix weakens due to heat.
A fragment of this type will transfer more energy to the target than present preformed solid fragments. The use of a material which melts or becomes soft during acceleration and separates at impact transfers more total energy to the target through a more efiicient transfer by each of the individual sub-fragments. While the above description contemplates the use of a solid core, it is also possible to utilize a liquid core instead of a solid material. For example, liquid mercury would constitute a suitable filler material.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings.
What is claimed is:
1. A warhead fragment comprising:
an outer shell; and
a unitary solid filler material comprising Woods alloy contained within said outer shell;
said shell and said filler material being so configured that said filler material will have the characteristic 3 of becoming soft due to shock heating resulting from FOREIGN PATENTS detonation of the Warhead, whereby said shell and 100 527 1916 Great Britain said filler material will fragment upon impact of said 935707 1963 Great Britain' fragment with a target so as to transfer maximum energy to sald target 5 BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner References Cited C. T. JORDAN, Assistant Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS CL 1,191,178 7/1916 Harrison et a1. 10292 102--92.4 3,363,561 1/1968 Irons 102-42 10 3,370,535 2/1968 Permutter 10252