Does the Abrams have a spall liner? No from what I could find

So with the T90M and the introduction of modeled spall liners, there have been a lot of talk about which tanks has it. The Abrams is one of the those tanks that gets talked about a lot.

General consensus by the community implies that the Abrams does have a spall liner however from my research, this conclusion is based on assumptions not actual evidence. So in this kinda long first post, In this post, I’ll use multiple types of evidence and do a deep dive into spall liners.

My only request is to be charitable so lets start shall we.

What is a spall liner and what is it made of?

Spall liners are what they say they are. They are liners that serve to minimize the amount of fragments that could potentially injure or kill crew.
Liners could be made of various materials, most common is aramids however other options would be fiberglass, sprayed polyurethane, and the most modern option includes materials like UHMWPE.

There are also soviet “Podboi” simply meaning lining in english, these serve as dual purpose anti radiation lining and spall lining (most likely not as effective as a proper single purpose spall liner)

Podboi

Gunners station overview
made of some type of polymer with lead, in game this material only exists on the T90 hull and provides 1mm of protection. :)

Type of spall liner used depends on what the user wants, the two most common forms are:

- hard bolted on panels (used the most)

Why bolted on panels? Panels bolted into the base hull are securely held in place, they wont get in the way of any moving things or get caught onto things like turret drives and people. They can also be made thicker offering better spalling reduction. Downside is they tend to be heavy and application can be limited due to pre existing equipment taking up the space.

Spall liner on the Bradley
image

Spall liner on the door of an Mrap
765px-Army_mil-2008-06-13-162413

Standoff spall liner on M113A3

Spall liner on the roof of Leopard 2 visible
main-qimg-5c304c7b7b7444372fea54435c7b5516-lq

Spall liner on M109A6

- soft drapes "sheets" are malleable, often hooked or fastened into place.

These are much lighter, can be installed in cramper spots, downside is they are less durable and can be less effective. Most notable user of this type of spall liner is the T90M

Challenger 2’s may use this type of spall liner, I’m not actually sure if its a spall liner.
challenger2interior_loadersposition

T90M

Another form of spall protection more popular on personal body armor is polyethylene liners, can be molded as drop ins or sprayed on. A company known for using the material in military applications is Line-X (https://www.linex.com/security-and-defense). The Abrams doesn’t use this since it’s sprayed on thick, at least 7mm(and the color is black and the surface is rough), the photos I show later will show the interior in detail.

The Abrams

Now actually onto the Abrams, these are the points I’ll look at after covering the elephant in the room

  • photographic evidence
  • circumstantial evidence
  • that one DTIC study

Before I go into the three points, I’ll cover the biggest thing.

When it comes to sourcing, it’s really important to not take things for granted and assume something , please check the citation. I’m talking about Wikipedia, tank encyclopedia, etc. So lets take a look at these. To make it clear, I’m not trashing on these cites or saying that I know more, I’m saying to take care when researching. No one is an expert at anything.

All these sites have something in common in that they are written by individuals as volunteers or written by individuals as a blogpost . And while I appreciate their work, people are still prone to mistakes and making assumptions. This isn’t even a case of “The woozle effect” a citation just does not exist.

Tank encyclopedia


This is one of the sources used, no citations, no anything.

Overt Defense blog

Screenshot 2023-12-18 002948
same thing

Wikipedia

Screenshot 2023-12-18 003709
Wikipedia do make citations easy to access however no citation is provided for this claim

Now onto books, while books can be good and reveal useful information like exclusive photos, it’s important to note they’re not always 100% correct even when its a reputable author.

Tank museum book

98e4f456e91d17da3c8d7cd4684102baa1e4cff8_2_750x1000
The issue is that photographic evidence and the lack of primary sources don’t support this claim so this is unreliable evidence of a spall liner and can most likely be concluded as another case of assuming

Photographic evidence

Remember the examples of spall liners above and what they look like, now lets take a look at the Abrams.

Unpainted M1 Abrams turret, remember what the position of the weld line on the roof is.

This is a modern painted M1 turret without the equipment attached.

You can see the same mounting studs here with a finished Abrams


A common claim I hear is that the kevlar backs the composite and kevlar can be used as a spall liner and thus the Abrams must have a spall liner.

What I assume is the source of that claim

Spoiler

cb01f446655f046cb625c5578dc1a1c927009835_2_917x1000

“backing for ceramics/composite” is not what a spall liner is, what a kevlar backing of ceramics can do is hold the ceramic together since ceramic is brittle and cracks, the kevlar would help keep it together to increase armor durability. Not reduce spall. A spall liner has the be the last layer of a tanks armor, pretty much always following behind the backplate. The M1 Abrams uses a regular metal backplate just like any other tank, the backplate is not ceramic with kevlar

Spoiler


And you know what the kicker is? The photos above show weld marks. You cant weld kevlar.

Circumstantial evidence

When it comes to circumstantial evidence, we have to analyze how the US treats spall liners. All AFVs that receive spall liners are disclosed to have spall liners. All AFVs that have a spall liner use bolted on plates. The Abrams is the exception where no disclosure has been made.

Bradleys:


Screenshot 2023-12-18 012200

M113:
Screenshot 2023-12-18 012255
Live fire test on M113A3 spall liner

M109
Screenshot 2023-12-18 014416

The DTIC study



That’s it, kind of long but I was already researching this prior to this whole WT thing.

22 Likes

When it comes to crew survivability, American tankers wear body armor. My next post will be on the apache (survivability)

8 Likes

There is no disclosure on the spall lining for the Abrams. Its armor is still classified.

A lot of references to Abrams program in this document in the footnotes about spall liner design.:

https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA065838.pdf
‘(Note that no current tanks have spall liners; the proposed XM-1 does.)’

‘As a result, the design of the XM1 included lower vehicle profile, armored
bulkheads between the crew and fuel cells, ammunition storage behind armored doors, blow-off
panels in the turret roof to vent explosions up and away from the crew and a spall liner and
Halon fire extinguisher system.’

5 Likes

Here they mention Permali spall liners able to be integrated in a sandwich format, included in insulating layers.:
https://www.armscom.net/products/spall_liners_by_permali_gloucester

This shows ballistic glass design, with hard-soft-hard layers still providing good results to prevent spalling and maintain adhesion, despite a hard and potential spall risk layer on the backside. This is glass meant to be shot.:

Naval ships have anti-fragmentation between metal layers, the metal walls on the interior aren’t an issue.

Even naval armor plates can be designed to mitigate spall, despite being entirely metal.:
KCA retained the hardened face of Krupp armour via the application of carbonized gases but also retained a much greater fibrous elasticity on the rear of the plate. This increased elasticity greatly reduced the incidence of spalling and cracking under incoming fire, a valuable quality during long engagements. Ballistic testing shows that KCA and Krupp armour were roughly equal in other respects.[2

6 Likes

But this paragraph destroys your thesis. Spall liners can be integral. From ballistic glass to the ARL study that explicitly demonstrates and describes internal spall liner layers, your assertion is incorrect.

22 Likes

Podboi is used as to describe inside lining, Nadboi is outside lining. The anti radiation liner itself is made out of composite materials.


QnA from 2019. Though I completely doubt these words.

Thats useful, if thats the case and anti radiation liners are modeled in game as Gaijin tells here, I will make reports regarding missing modeled anti radiation liner if we dont get spall liners revised. In case they will be removed I wont for obvious reasons. Why am I making these guesses? I doubt Gaijin will sit there doing nothing about it.

6 Likes

You’re being dishonest, the quote on the website says “They can also include acoustic and thermal insulation materials, either bonded onto the panels or integrated using a sandwich structure.”

They’re talking about combining thermal and insulation into the spall liner. Not into the metal armor.

Your naval ship argument is null because we’re not talking about ships, ships are large enough to have large bulkheads and metal separating compartments acting to catch spall. My photos above show the Abrams have a single thick backplate and there isn’t enough space to add shields.

my DTIC doc doesn’t contradict your source as my source is talking about production Abrams (document date is 1996), yours is talking about the XM1.

Additionally, permili heavily advertises their products, all permili spall liners are visible as panels which is missing on the Abrams. Also ballistic glass? What?

7 Likes




3 Likes

No. You are being dishonest. Here is the full paragraph that you removed the entire context from.:
‘PERMALI SPALL LINERS (roof, floor and walls) can be supplied in a range of E and S2 glass, phenolic or rubberised aramid, or UHMWPE materials, and to a range of thicknesses. They can also include acoustic and thermal insulation materials, either bonded onto the panels or integrated using a sandwich structure.’

The entire paragraph is about Permail spall liners. ‘Permali spall liners (roof, floor and walls) can be supplied in a range…THEY CAN ALSO INCLUDE ACOUSTIC AND THERMAL INSULATION MATERIALS, either BONDED ONTO THE PANELS or INTEGRATED USING A SANDWICH STRUCTURE.’

Where do you think insulation goes, my dude? It’s between walls.

The spall lining ARL document shows spall lining being incorporated into internal composite armor modules.

Between ballistic glass and the ARL documents talking about spall liners being embedded in integral armor arrays, you are the only one being dishonest here.

16 Likes

This only proves that the internal spall mitigation works. The guys lived. Your hanging kevlar blankets wouldn’t have stopped any of this.

Also from this report:
https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/tr/pdf/ADA383796.pdf
‘The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the University of Delaware (UD) have
developed an enabling technology to produce a polymer matrix composite-based integral armor
with improved multihit ballistic capability. Current applications for integral armor composites
include the Composite Armored Vehicle (CAV) technology demonstrator and Crusader
self-propelled howitzer platforms. Present integral armor manufacturing processes involve
adhesive bonding of a composite structure with ballistic armor tiles, spall shield, and nuisance
cover. ARL, UD, and the CAV/Crusader composite structure contractor, United Defense
Limited Partnership (UDLP), assessed through-thickness stitching to improve the multihit
capability and reduce manufacturing costs. The patent-pending co-injection resin-transfer
molding (CIRTM) process was used to produce a stitched, co-injected integral armor panel that
demonstrated improved multihit capability. The spall shield was fabricated with a phenolic resin
for fire, smoke, and toxicity protection, while the remainder of the integral armor (structural
composite resin encapsulating the tiles and the nuisance cover) was fabricated with an epoxy
resin for structural performance. Through-thickness stitching and CIRTM were used to enhance
the damage tolerance and to reduce the cost of the armor.’

Cope.

13 Likes

First things first, S2 glass is fibreglass not ballistic glass.

Copy and pasting the same quote I posted except bolding the letters doesn’t change the fact its talking about insulation and sound dampening and integrating that into the spall liner, not bonding the spall liner into the composite?

Yeah the guys lived, what? You think all crew died prior to the invention of spall liner? War Thunder has got you guys severely overestimating how powerful weak shape charges are. Edit: even strong shaped charges arent a crew death sentence, friendly fire incidents involving missiles like hellfires show crews can survive.

Your study doesnt apply to the abrams, a study was also conducted into making a composite hull bradley, that doesnt mean bradleys have composite hulls.

“cope” want a serious discussion? Go to GHPC discord server and “vehicle discussions” there are research members and crews that can talk to you about it. Because ive already spoken to them and other people about it. Of course you’ll only do this is you’re interested in learning

8 Likes

This has nothing to do with the M1. Its a paper on researching an experimental composite armor for vehicles that never went into production.

4 Likes

Even the second page says that this is not a official government doc and doesn’t represent the army.
Screenshot 2023-12-18 101616

6 Likes

Read the references and footnotes section. Plenty of references to the Abrams program. In this document, on the military website, from the ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY, references many Army programs…and you claim its not an official government document? You are truly delusional.:
https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/tr/pdf/ADA383796.pdf

Look again, search ‘Abrams’ and see what pops up in the footnotes.

Speaking of being dishonest, how can you claim this…:
“The findings in this report are not to be construed as an official
Department of the Army position unless so designated by other
authorized documents.”

…some how means it is not an official document? It only said that it can’t be considered an official position, which it would be hard to do as a research paper and not a mission statement, order, or request.

…and who said otherwise?
This is the BALLISTIC GLASS you seem to have ignored:

image

4 Likes

I do find it amusing you guys completely ignored the two PDFs that explicitly refer to the XM-1 as having a spall liner.
image
image

12 Likes

I didnt ignore it, you just ignored what I said instead

“my DTIC doc doesn’t contradict your source as my source is talking about production Abrams (document date is 1996), yours is talking about the XM1.” from a previous comment

4 Likes

The XM-1 was a prototype. Not the production M1s.

3 Likes

So let me get this straight, you’re arguing that the XM-1 being the prototype translates to the production model not incorporating the features that they insist be on the prototype?

11 Likes

I forgot about that link, sorry. But also wtf does this have to do with the abrams? This is anti spall film for glass? Glass… Metal is not glass, it doesnt shatter into a million pieces requiring a film holding it together

Second page of your document
Screenshot 2023-12-18 103107

2 Likes

Go read “King of the Killing Zone.”
https://www.amazon.com/King-Killing-Zone-Story-Americas/dp/0393332934