Shaped Charge

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shaped charge

[′shāpt ′chärj]
An explosive charge with a shaped cavity that forces the impact of the explosion to the front so that there is an armor-piercing force. Also known as cavity charge.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shaped Charge


a charge of explosive matter with a conical, spherical, or wedge-shaped hollow whose action is based on a cumulative effect.

The purpose of the shaped charge is the controlled destruction of solid materials. Shaped charges with a conical hollow—the height of which is equal to the diameter of the hollow opening and which has a metal lining (with a thickness of about one-thirtieth of the diameter of the hollow opening)—will pierce steel armor whose thickness is approximately four times the diameter of the hollow opening. Shaped charges are used in armor-piercing shells, in blasting caps, and for pulverizing odd-shaped rocks in quarries and breaking up other objects. A typical example of the use of shaped charges in military activity is in antitank rocket projectiles. These shells have a large hollow head which ensures that the shell explodes at the right distance from the obstacle so that its armor-piercing effect will be maximal. Another example is the linear shaped charge, which is elongated and has a metallined wedge-shaped hollow in the form of a trough. These charges are used to cut metal sheets, cores, and design elements, in particular when taking down surface and underwater structures.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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