A Review of Works on Shaped Charges

M. Ahmed, A. Q. Malik


Shaped charges are used to pierce hard targets in all three versions of warfare land, air and naval. High explosives compositions fillings produce a thin high velocity metal jet which is used for target damage. Shaped charges can efficiently damage tanks possessing thick armour protection, bunkers and aircraft and are also useful for attacking ships and submarines. Shaped charges have a very long history since the Second World War Theoretical modeling started with the steady state theory of Birkhoff in 1948, which was modified by the non-steady state theory known as PER theory of shaped charges. To review the development in the shaped charges three stages are defined. In the first stage development until 1990 is presented when shaped charge theory was fully developed and penetration predictions with fairly good accuracy were possible. In the second stage, review of the work carried out in the last decade of the 20th century is discussed. During this period experimental verification of different parameters was established. The third stage deals with all the work carried out in the 21st century (2000-2010), including tools for advanced diagnostics, new fabrication and inspection, as well as new liner materials were included. The anomalies occurred were resolved by further refinements in the theoretical models.


high explosives; liners; jet formation; shaped charges; target penetration

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