Evaluation of gun propelling charge performance during the life cycle by statistical utilization of data collected in test and troop gun firings

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Doctoral thesis (article-based)
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Verkkokirja (888 KB, 72 s.)
TKK dissertations, 151
The dissertation was intended to improve the quality and safety of gun propelling charges during their life cycle. The approach in three case studies was the evaluation of gun propelling charge performance by the statistical utilization of the results collected in artillery gun test firings and conscript practice troop firings. The interior ballistics branch needs to adjust to the new demands for weapon systems. The literature review shows that the actual interdisciplinary challenges entail the development of new, more energetic but less sensitive and toxic gun propellant compositions, the development of high loading density charge constructions, enhancing the knowledge about the ignition event, research on heat transfer in the gun barrel and barrel wear and further development of mathematical modeling. Primarily due to firing safety it is essential to be able to measure correct pressure values during the ignition and combustion of gun propelling charges in test firings. A discrepancy was detected in the maximum pressure levels measured by using two different pressure measurement methods in the interior ballistic test firings. This problem has been resolved by the development of a new dynamic calibration methodology for the crusher gauge pressure elements. The calibration methodology developed was verified and implemented (Case I). The acceptance control must provide a reliable baseline for the assessment of the performance of gun propelling charges. Quality defects were found in several recently produced 155-mm gun propelling charge lots. The reasons for the poor performance of the procedure for determining gun propelling charge weight were ascertained by applying multivariate analysis methods in new ways to the data set consisting of 155 mm charge weight establishment and uniformity test firing results (Case II). It was found possible to improve the test procedure. The chemical and physical changes occurring during the life cycle of gun propelling charges may impair their safety and performance. It is essential to be aware of such changes as early as possible in the life cycle of the gun propelling charge type. Thanks to new technology, the acquisition of information on ammunition performance is no longer limited to the test firings. The new surveillance system developed and implemented enables the utilization of conscript practice field artillery troop firings for performance data collection of gun propelling charges (Case III).
interior ballistics, gun propelling charges, test firings, practice troop firings, multivariate analysis
  • [Publication 1]: Heli Nyberg, Veli-Tapani Kuokkala, Jari Rämö, and Aulis Järviniemi. 2007. A dynamic calibration method for crusher gauges based on material testing. Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics, volume 32, number 1, pages 61-67.
  • [Publication 2]: Heli Nyberg, Taina Hurme, and Olli-Pekka Penttilä. 2007. Multivariate analysis applied to test procedure for determining gun propelling charge weight Part I. Preliminary analysis of the data set. Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, volume 87, number 1, pages 131-138. © 2007 Elsevier Science. By permission.
  • [Publication 3]: Heli Nyberg. 2008. Multivariate analysis applied to a test procedure for determining gun propelling charge weight Part II. Partial least squares analysis. Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, volume 92, number 2, pages 118-124. © 2008 Elsevier Science. By permission.
  • [Publication 4]: Heli M. Nyberg and Timo P. O. Muikku. 2006. Conscript practice troop firings utilizing surveillance system for propellant charges. In: Proceedings of the 37th International Annual Conference of ICT on Energetic Materials - Insensitivity, Ageing, Monitoring. Karlsruhe, Germany. 27-30 June 2006. Pfinztal, Germany, Fraunhofer-Institut für Chemische Technologie (ICT), V23 1-12.
  • [Publication 5]: Heli M. Nyberg. 2007. Evaluation of data collected by a surveillance system for gun propelling charges utilizing conscript practice troop firings. Journal of Battlefield Technology, volume 10, number 3, pages 13-18.