The role of manufacturing defects in munition component failures
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The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Weapons and Materials Research Directorate performs numerous failure analysis investigations on munition-related components. Many of the failures are attributable to defects that can be traced back to the manufacturing process. Typical manufacturing defects encountered include those associated with the material, forging, casting, welding, and heat treatment processes. Dimensional anomalies have also been noted. Munition component failures are very costly and may seriously affect the safety and readiness of the armed forces. Additionally, repeated failure may lead to the grounding (removal from service) of a system, depending on the severity of the problem. Specific examples of component defects/failures discussed in this report include bomb fin retaining bands, general purpose bomb suspension lugs, missile launcher attachment bolts, cluster bomb tailcones, general purpose bomb fins, and Gatling gun breech bolt assemblies. This paper focuses on the importance of proper manufacturing techniques to the munitions industry and, by inference, to numerous other industries.
Keywordsfailure analysis metallurgical investigation flight safety critical components manufacturing defects
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