There are many reports on the application of titanium and titanium alloys in tanks in the United States, but in China, the former Soviet Union, and Russia, there are few reports on this aspect. In the 1990s, the American Abrams (Abrams) M1 main battle tank and Bradley (Bradley) M2 tanks used a lot of titanium alloy parts to replace Rolled Homogeneous Armour (Rolled Homogeneous Armour). , RHA).
It is said that titanium alloy replaced seven steel parts on the M1A2 main battle tank: rotary turret plate, nuclear warfare, biochemical weapon countermeasure system guard plate, gunner’s main sight cover, engine top cover, turret pivot frame, command Hatch cover, captain's thermal imaging observation device cover. The total mass of these components made of steel was 1591kg. After being changed to titanium alloy, the total mass dropped to 1116kg, which was a reduction of nearly 30%.
The command hatch and top attack armor of the M2 tank were originally forged with aluminum alloy, and later they were made of 100mm-127mm Ti-6Al-4V alloy plate, and the attack armor was made of 80mm thick titanium alloy plate. Their mass ratio Steel parts are 35% lighter. Ti-6Al-4V alloy is smelted in a low-cost electron beam cooling bed furnace, and a low-cost Ti-6A-1.7Fe-0.1Si Timetal 62S alloy has also been developed, which was developed by Timetal.
In the 1950s, the United States made greater efforts on the application of titanium alloys in the weapon industry, and achieved fruitful results. In order to reduce the quality of armored vehicles and improve their mobility and ballistic resistance, the Watertown Arsenal focused on titanium alloys. A large number of tests have been carried out on the resistance to bullets and armor-piercing projectiles and welding performance, and it is believed that titanium alloy is a strong armor material. At the same ballistic performance, the thickness of titanium alloy armor should be 25% higher than that of steel, while the weight of titanium alloy armor should be 25% lighter than steel.
In 1953, the U.S. Army tested the roof armor of T55 armored vehicles made of 15.88mm RC-130AW titanium alloy plates with 37mm armor-piercing shells at the Detroit arsenal. All indicators were qualified and reached or exceeded the predetermined value.In 1956, the United States used Ti-6Al-6V-2Sn-0.5Fe-0.5Cu alloy to forge tank tracks and tank wheels, which were installed on a 50-ton tank and passed the field running test of 3378.9km, in good condition.
In 1950, the U.S. Watertown Arsenal used Ti-6Al-4V and Ti-4Al-4V alloys to weld a command tower for the M-21 (XM-13) command vehicle of the Tank Motor Command, and use 20mm shells to carry it. Live firing. Two speeds were used for the test, one was 450m/s, and there was no penetration, but many small cracks appeared on the back of the plate; the second shooting speed was 504m/s, penetrated into the titanium plate, but did not penetrate, It was stuck in the board, and the crack did not expand. The test firing results are satisfactory. The mass of the titanium alloy turret is 177kg, while the steel turret is 281kg. The former is 104kg lighter than the latter, which is 37% lighter.
In addition, Watertown Arsenal also uses Ti-6Al-4V alloy and Ti-6Al-4Mn alloy instead of steel. Parts made of: driving shaft, suspension arm, tow bar, torsion shaft, front wheel shaft, etc., the driving shaft is Ti-6Al The -4V alloy tank has carried out a 9654km field test run and is in good condition.
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The track system of the T109 tank forged with Ti-6Al-4V alloy in this factory includes: track shoe, fastening screw, center guide block, side of guide block, chain, etc. The adhesion between titanium alloy track shoes and rubber is better than that of steel, and the weight is about 40% lighter than that of steel. The surface-treated titanium alloy track shoe was tested in a field test of 1352km on a medium tank, which fully achieved the expected effect.