posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 12:53 AM
well put stormhammer.
Definitely agree that kinetic energy plays a role, but the density of the projectile is also important. Say a steel shell was shot a steel tank
(assuming that the density of the steel is the same). The energy of the shell is in the form of kinetic energy. As the steel shell impacts the steel
tank, the shell will deform and/or fragment. This deformation and fragmentation lowers the amount of energy that the shell has available to impart
onto the tank armor. Now say a shell made of depleted uranium and it is fire at a steel tank. As the shell impacts the tank, it retains is shape b/c
uranium is more dense than steel. More energy is transfered into the armor of the tank increasing penetration, and not on the deformation of the
Potential energy has nothing to do with the penetration capabilities of a projectile. There are different types of potential energy: gravity,
chemical, electrical, thermal, and elastic. The only potential energy that a projectile would have would come from its distance from the ground or any
explosive warhead that it might have.