Advantages to using Tungsten

Tungsten has many advantages in Aerospace in Defense, to start: Density. Density is the ratio of weight to volume, and with tungsten alloy, the density is typically about 18 g/cc. This density makes tungsten favorable for military applications because as we move to smaller and more covert ordnance practices tungsten allows kinetic energy penetration capability in a small package. The density also gives standard ammunition with tungsten cores the ability to penetrate without actually being a “penetrator” round. Tungsten is also used in standard Armor Penetration ammo in both medium and large calibers due to it’s effectiveness against a wide variety of metals used to forge armor plating.

A tungsten penetrator leaving a sabot.

A tungsten penetrator leaving a sabot.

Recently, our company exhibited at the AUSA 2013 Annual Meeting, and when speaking with some of the soldiers there, I met a tank operator who had something interesting to tell me about the 120MM tungsten penetrator round for the Abrams. He told me that when firing rounds with tungsten penetrators, each shot was a “kill-shot” or catastrophic hit on the first hit. He said that the reason was because the tungsten was so strong that it penetrated the enemy armor “like butter”. To me, this was a statement of large importance, because it demonstrated that tungsten truly is the alloy that we always say that it is.

A tank after being hit by a 120MM round with a tungsten penetrator.

A tank after being hit by a 120MM round with a tungsten penetrator.

We spoke with another gentleman at the show, Val, who told us that he manufactures armor plating. He told us that the #1 opponent to the armor that he produces is tungsten penetrator rounds. This was a bold statement, telling us that our alloys, are the hardest to defeat in the world of military ordnance and ammunition is truly a confidence builder! We knew right then and there, that our product really does have some truly incredible characteristics!

Speaking to the incredible advantages of tungsten, we haven’t mentioned it’s extreme resistance to high temperatures! Tungsten is one of the top metals to resist high heat, albeit the single most affordable metal on the market to resist these high heats. Resistance to almost 4,000 centigrade, the resistance is impressive! This gives it numerous applications in military and aerospace applications because of it’s durability and ability to perform in intense heat. Instruments such as explosives, ordnance, and missiles use tungsten parts for this reason, to make sure that the parts that hold the device together can hold strong until impact.

There are numerous other advantages to using tungsten in the Defense and Aerospace industries, for more information or to purchase parts, please contact me:

Zachary Cooper

Project Manager

Aerospace and Defense

T&D Materials Manufacturing

O: 484-479-3158

M: 484-477-3139


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