A Review of Works on Shaped Charges

  • M. Ahmed School of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National University of Science and TechnologyIslamabad, Pakistan
  • A. Q. Malik School of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National University of Science and TechnologyIslamabad, Pakistan
Keywords: high explosives, liners, jet formation, shaped charges, target penetration


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.


Download data is not yet available.


W. Walters, Introduction to Shaped Charges, U. S. Army Research Laboratory, 2007

E. Pugh, R. Eichelberger, N. Rostoker, “Theory of Jet Formation with Lined Conical Cavities”, J. Appl. Phys, Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 532-536, 1952

R. Eichelberger, “Experimental Test of the Theory of Penetration by Metallic Jets”, J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 63-68, 1956

W. Walters, J. Zukas, Fundamental of Shaped Charges, John Wiley & Sons, 1989

Research and Development of Material, Engineering Design Handbook, Warhead-General (U), AMCP 706-290, July 1964

L. Behrmann, Calculation of Shaped-Charge Jets using Engineering Approximation and Finite Difference Computer Codes, Vol. 1: Generalized Analytical Approach to Shaped-Charge Warhead Design, Air Force Armament Laboratory, USAF, Technical report AFTAL-TR-73-160, Aug. 1973.

E. Perez, Shaped Charge Physics, Experimental Results and Recent Theory, National Technical Services, USA, Report39/74, N77-13228, 1974

J. Carleone, P. Chou, C. Tanizo, User' s Manual for DESC-1, Dyna East Corporation Technical Report DE-TR-75-4 Rev. 2, 1975

P. Chou, C. Tanzio, J. Carleone, R. Cicarelli, Shaped Charge Jet breakup Studies Using Radiograph Measurements and Surface Instability Calculations, BRL Contract report No. 337, 1977

J. Carleone, P. Chou, R. Cicarelli, Shaped Charge Jet Stability and Penetration Calculations, BRL Contract report No. 351, 1977

Manual for Shaped-Charge Design, Navord report, 1248, AD No. ADB954297, 1982

S. B. Seglets, Drift Velocity Computations For Shaped-Charge Jets, Memorandum Report ARBRL-MR-03306, US Army Armament Research and Development Command, Ballistic Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 1983

C. Godfrey, R. Jandrisevits, Status of the LLL Tandem-Shaped Charge Designs, Preprint UCRL-82395, February 22, 1979

A. Chaumeau, E. Crotet, A. Kerdraon, J. Ragonnet, Warhead with Tandem Shaped Charges, United States Patent No. 4714022, 22DEC., 1987

S. Tatake, D. Kharat, “Flash X-Ray: A Diagnostic Tool for Shaped Charge Studies”, Defence Science Journal, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 259-264, 1992

J. Carleone, “Tactical Missile Warheads”, Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, USA, Vol. 155, 1993

L. Zemow, E. Chapyak, S. Mosso, “A New 3D Computational Model For Shaped Charge Jet Breakup”, 16th International Symposium on Ballistics, San Francisco, CA, pp. 23-28, September, 1996

T. Wang, Z. Rong, “Copper-Tungsten Shaped Charge Liner and its Jets”, Propellants Explos. Pyrotech., Vol. 21, pp. 193-196, 1996

L. Zemow, “The Density Deficit In Stretching Shaped Charge Jets”, Int. J. Impact Eng., Vol. 20, pp. 849-859, 1997

K. Walter, “Shaped Charge Pierce the Toughest Targets”, Science and Technology Review, pp. 17-19, 1998

D. Davidson, D. Pratt, “A Hydrocode-Designed well perforator with Exceptional performance”, 17th International Symposium on Ballistics, Midrand, South Africa, March 1998

M. Held, “Glass Armour and Shaped Charge Jets”, Propellants Explos. Pyrotech., Vol. 23, pp. 105-110, 1998

M. Katayama, A. Takeba, S. Today, S. Kibes, “Analysis of Jet Formation and Penetration by Conical Shaped Charge with the Inhibitor”, Int. J. Impact. Eng., Vol. 23, pp. 443-454, 1999

P. Tripptrap, J. Peter, T. Niemeyer, H. Scholles, Tandem Warheads for Combating Active Targets, United States Patent No. 5744746, 28 April, 1998

A. Mikhail, Anti-Armor Projectile with Autonomous Attachable Precursor Warhead, United States Patent No. 6109185, 29 Aug. 2000

S. Hancock, “An Extension of the Umin Model for Cutoff of High Precision Jets”, Int. J. Impact. Eng., Vol. 26, pp. 289-298, 2001

W. Gooch, M. Burkins, W. Walters, A. Kozhushko, A. Sinani, “Target Strength Effect on Penetration by Shaped Charge Jets”, Int. J. Impact. Eng., Vol. 26, pp. 243-248, 2001

W. Walters, W. Gooch, M. Burkins, “The Penetration Resistance of a Titanium Alloy Against Jets from Tantalum Shaped Charge Liners”, Int. J. Impact Eng., Vol. 26, 823-830, 2001

F. Mostert, P. Konig, K. Werneyer, “Predicted and Experimental Results of Shaped Charge Penetration with Liners of Measured Wall Thickness Variation”, 19th International Symposium of Ballistics, Interlaken, Switzerland, pp. 741-747, 7-11 May, 2001

M. Rodriguez, V. Jeanclaude, J. Petit, C. Fressengeas, “Breakup of Shaped-Charge Jets: Comparison between Experimental and Numerical Data”, 19th International Symposium of Ballistics,Interlaken, Switzerland, 7- 11 May, 2001.

J. Mills, J. Curtis, “A Theoretical Investigation of the Penetration Properties of Hollow Particles”, Int. J. Impact. Eng., Vol. 26, pp. 523-531, 2001

M. Held, “Liners of Shaped Charges”, Journal of Battlefield Technology, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 1-7, 2001

L. J. De Chant, “An Analytical Solution for Unsteady, Inviscid Jet Formation Due to Asymmetric During Collapse”, Int. J. Impact. Eng., Vol. 30, pp. 685-698, 2004

J. Petit, V. Jeanclaude, C. Fressengeasa, “Breakup of Copper Shaped-Charge Jets: Experiments, Numerical Simulations, and Analytical Modeling”, J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 98, pp. 123521-123521-10, 2005

M. Held, “Predominance of Shaped Charge Diameter to Performance Quality Against Special Targets”, Propellants Explos. Pyrotech., Vol. 30, No. 6, pp. 435-437, 2005

G. Wijk, A. Tgemberg, Shaped Charge Penetration Reduction with Increased Standoff, Report No. FOI-R-1750-SE, 2005

R. Novokshanov, J. Ockendon, “Elastic-plastic Modeling of Shaped Charge Jet Penetration”, Proc. R. Soc. A., Vol. 462, pp. 3663-3681, 2006

E. Hirsch, “Scaling of the Shaped Charge Jet Breakup Time”, Propellants Explos. Pyrotech, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 230-233, 2006

W. Arnold, E. Rottenkolber, “Penetrator/ Shaped Charge System Part II: Influence of Design Parameters”, 23rd International Symposium on Ballistics, Tarragona, Spain, pp. 271-278, April 16-20, 2007

M. Cartwright, “Liquid Explosives for Shaped Charges and Their use in Explosive ordnance Disposal (EOD)”, Explosive Engineering, pp. 7-11, 2009

M. Cartwright, D. Roach, P. Simpson, “Non-Solid Explosives for Shaped Charge Target Penetration with Metal Liner Devices Using Sensitized Nitromathane Liquid Explosive”, J. Energ. Mater., Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 145-165, 2009

C. Ling, Y. Dong, S. Jun, “The Design of Small-Caliber Tandem Warhead Against Tank with Reactive Armour”, 19th International Symposium of Ballistics, Interlaken, Switzerland, pp. 691-695, May 7-11, 2001

C. Wang, T. Ma, J. Ning, “Experimental Investigation of the penetration Performance of Shaped Charge into Concrete Targets”, Acta MEch Sen, Vol. 24, pp. 345-349, 2008

H. Zhengxiang, Z. Xianfeng, “Study on Tandem Shaped Charges Technique”, 23rd International Symposium on Ballistics, Tarragona, Spain, pp. 1205-1210, April 16-20, 2007

O. Ayisit, “The Influence of Asymmetries in Shaped Charge Performance”, Int. J. Impact. Eng., Vol. 35, pp. 1399-1404, 2008

W. Walters, Tandem Shaped Charge Warheads Having Confined Forward Charge and a Light Weight Blast Shield, United States Patent No. 7493861 B1, 24 Feb, 2009

P. Konig, Shaped Charge Assembly and Method of Damaging Target, United States Patent No. 7779760 B2, 24 Aug., 2010


Abstract Views: 714
PDF Downloads: 503

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share