Ballistic Properties of Depleted Uranium and Biological Consequences

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6-1-3.jpg

Ballistic Properties of Depleted Uranium and Biological Consequences

9.95

Author(s): William S. Andrews; Leslie G.I. Bennett; Brent J. Lewis; Edward A. Ough
No pages: 5
Year: 2003
Article ID: 6-1-3
Keywords: ammunition, armour, firepower and protection, personnel hazards
Format: Electronic (PDF)

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Abstract: Over the past quarter century, depleted uranium (DU) has replaced tungsten alloys as the material of choice for penetrators in armour piercing rounds in some armies, as well as a being used as a supplement to steel in tank armour. The tendency for adiabatic shear failure to overcome work hardening, and increased ductility are attributed for the improved ballistic performance. The aerosolisation of a portion of the penetrator on impact creates a potential health hazard, particularly through ingesting resuspended aerosol particles. Bioassays of military and civilian personnel, who were potentially exposed to depleted uranium contamination, have failed to establish a link between depleted uranium and symptoms of "Gulf War illness". In fact, increased depleted uranium body burdens have usually not been detected. Further, Canadian testing has not been able to identify elevated levels of depleted uranium or even natural uranium in urine, hair or bone samples of veterans.