Cast vs. Welded,




 
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May 1st, 2015  
Yossarian
 
 

Topic: Cast vs. Welded,


Evening, now although this question can be seen in a broader scope of any type of vehicle, military or other wise.

But my question is welded hull construction vs. cast. Now I do realize most modern tracked vehicles are welded. But back in the early 20 century this was not the case.

I am not really asking about an cast or welded hull's ability to deal with battle damage but moreover the service life from everyday heavy usage and wear and tear on the vehicle. One question in particular on a cast hull if the hull is cracked for some reason how do you repair it?

Repairs on hull damage on a welded vehicle seems more obvious. But I was always curious about the integrity of cast vehicles. If you crack the hull is that it? Or is a repair method to save wasting a whole vehicle?

Thanks again,

-Yo.
May 1st, 2015  
tetvet
 
In Vietnam I witness a Personal Carrier that had been hit by an RPG the Top Front and Rear were completely blown away with only the sides still standing , along one edge of the side I noticed signs of a weld so perhaps cast is better .
May 10th, 2015  
LeEnfield
 
 
It was found in WW 2 that a cast unit with stood a direct hit better than a welded one.
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May 11th, 2015  
Yossarian
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
It was found in WW 2 that a cast unit with stood a direct hit better than a welded one.

But is it quicker to manufacture and easier to to repair?

Those are my main questions.
June 9th, 2015  
s_weichbrodt
 
 
The basic answer to your question in respect to cast vs. welded construction is basically "available technology". There was a time when cast construction was vastly better than welded but that has slowly changed over time.

First, let me say that in TODAY"S world, welded construction is FAR superior to casting when it comes to main battle tanks. Leopard, Abrams, etc. are welded.

The issue in WWII was welding technology. Having an electrode available that was suitable for ballistic welding applications did exist, but was very difficult to obtain logistically for Britain. The ability to cut armor plate at mass production rate, and a core of certified welders to execute mass production was another hurdle.

The Germans pioneered most of the advanced welding (armor) technology during the war, and the vast difference in allied and axis vehicle production numbers reflects the advantage of cast armor over welded. The disadvantage (castings) of course, was ballistic performance.

Now days, weld metal is actually superior in its chemistry than armor plate. Full penetration weldments are required for optimum performance. Weldments are X ray'd, and ballistically validated at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The introduction of MIG welding with specially formulated wire, shielding gas, etc., have made welded construction superior in the construction of Submarines, Tanks etc.

Complex shapes (race ring, road arms) are still cast steel in the Abrams, so cast metal is still a vital factor in armor vehicle technology. During wartime, the US poured out the Sherman in the vast numbers necessary to overwhelm the enemy, and cast construction was the cheapest and the fastest way to get the tanks on the battlefield.
June 18th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian
But is it quicker to manufacture and easier to to repair?

Those are my main questions.
Not so sure about quicker to manufacture but certainly it made field repairs easier as you could cannibalise other vehicles or just unbolt the section and replace it, in many respects it was one of the Sherman's few redeeming features.
 


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