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shaped charge[′shāpt ′chärj]
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.
G. I. POKROVSKII