StenRough

HEAT - How it works? Explained

Introduction

  This is my very first topic, because I am not so much forum guy and usually if I have some question I just search for the google for answer :). Please, excuse me if I make some mistakes, because english isn't my native language.

  Now, why am I writing this down? I've recently returned to the WT after very long time (time issues, some WT frustration, other games and social life :D ) and I am now searching for tips and what is new etc.... And one thing I've noticed is there are many theories what is HEAT and how the HEAT works and none of them seems to be right.

  How do I know it? Let's assume that I now have access to some materials which you don't find in public library or on the history channel.

  I don't want to use any pictures and animations because I think that they are confusing people or sometimes pushing them in the wrong way to understand the problem, especially when they lack some knowledge on the subject.

  Please feel free to bring constructive opinions to discussion.

  So let's get to it.

 

H-igh E-xplosive A-nti T-ank shell

HEAT is shell with shaped charge with cumulative insertion. Detonation of such charge cause deformation of insertion into ray of mass with speed of few thousand m/s. Main idea behind this shell is that the armor penetration doesn't depend on the impact energy.

 

Cumulative flow

Detonation of cumulative charge will cause formation of cumulative flow which is divided into three main parts and fourth in some cases.

  1. Cumulative ray - Formed by material of cumulative insertion with speed around 2000 - 10000 m/s. It has parts with different speed and diameter. Diameter of ray is around 1/10 of cumulative insertion base diameter. Cumulative ray is the main part which causes penetration. Important factors are speed and distribution of weight in parts of this ray.
  2. Thumper - Rest of the material from cumulative insertion with speed around 300 - 1000 m/s. It doesn't have influence on penetration.
  3. Part of the combustion gases from detonation - The main effect of those gases is thermal effect after penetration, but pressure effect is too small to consider it important.
  4. Edge parts of not fully deformated insertion - Not important to anything at all.

 

Issues with HEAT shells

To achieve the best penetration effect we have to respect that the cumulative ray is less effective when rotation of shell is faster than 2000 rpm, because ray will become more dispersed. This means that HEAT shells were less accurate and had different ballistic curve due to this reason.

Second thing is that you have to give to the charge some distance to form ray with maximum speed. That means the shell has to have the cap with empty space in front which is causing problems with weight distribution in the shell, so another setback for ballistics.

Area of penetration is very small and the area of effect is very narrow. So this means that you have to hit important construction point to do damage.

 

Mechanism of penetration

Mechanism is described as hydraulic impact/penetration. It means that cumulative ray is causing much more dynamic pressure on the armor than it can withstand in such small focused area.

 

Summary

The HEAT shell works like this, you fire it and when it impacts the armor, it will detonate. Due to shape of the charge and insertion inside of shell it forms very focused ray of mass under heavy pressure. Energy of this pressure gives to the ray enormous speed and when heated mass about this speed hits the armor, speed is going to change again into pressure with support of heated metal material flow. After penetration this ray of mass continues in its way. There is no combustion of air inside of tank like some people say, but you have very fast and very hot "bolt" of metal going straight through the tank and behind this flies heavy chunk of metal shrapnel, sometimes a few smaller pieces. This thumper often closes entry or exit point of the hit because it is not fast enough to go through, so it becomes merged with metal of armor.

Edited by StenRough
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Thank you @StenRough for this excellent guide about HEAT shells. I hope this will help some players to understand the mechanism and logic behind HEAT. Again, thank you. :salute:

 

Pinned.

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11 minutes ago, Leutnant_Erica said:

Thank you @StenRough for this excellent guide about HEAT shells. I hope this will help some players to understand the mechanism and logic behind HEAT. Again, thank you. :salute:

 

Pinned.

Well I didn't expect such quick Pin :D It is my plaesure to teach myself and the others too :)

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6 minutes ago, StenRough said:

Well I didn't expect such quick Pin :D It is my plaesure to teach myself and the others too :)

Well, this is a nice writing and contains really useful information that might help players about HEAT shell knowledge. Your post just happened to came across me at the same time I logged in.

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Very informative, well done!

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Nice explanation, but I'm surprised this got pinned. This needs an explanation of the in-game mechanics. Yes, it's interesting to learn about how HEAT works in real life, but we need it applied to what we experience in the game.

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1 hour ago, Employment said:

Nice explanation, but I'm surprised this got pinned. This needs an explanation of the in-game mechanics. Yes, it's interesting to learn about how HEAT works in real life, but we need it applied to what we experience in the game.

To sum it up @Employment, HEAT relies on diameter of the warhead for penetration and HE filler amount for destructive power. When the shell hits the tank, HE is detonated by a base fuse and the energy produced is focused into a parallel-sided gaseous jet. In other words, warhead erodes the armour surface and releases the molten liner inside the armour, damaging or destroying anything on its path if possible. E.g:

Image result for How armour piercing shell works gif

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4 hours ago, Employment said:

Nice explanation, but I'm surprised this got pinned. This needs an explanation of the in-game mechanics. Yes, it's interesting to learn about how HEAT works in real life, but we need it applied to what we experience in the game.

 

The thread is about HEAT works, not about how to use it in-game.

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4 hours ago, Employment said:

Nice explanation, but I'm surprised this got pinned. This needs an explanation of the in-game mechanics. Yes, it's interesting to learn about how HEAT works in real life, but we need it applied to what we experience in the game.

Well before I knew what I know about explosives and ammunition now I was upset about my HEATs.... "Why it doesn't make every tank instantly explode? That is what HE in the name means... No?..." No it is not how it works... And I now understand why HEAT in WT works because I know now how it works in reality... It's like very fast and very hot AP round going trough in straight line... nothing more...

 

I wrote this for players who don't understand and often mistake HEAT for some other shell and it's effect...

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and today we got an russian HEATFS shell for the 125mm gun that has fragmentation that just in case it couldnt penetrate armour it splashes the ammo/fuel tanks :facepalm:

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