Numerical Simulation on Bifurcate Fracture of Linear Red Copper Penetrator

Shuhai Zhang, Ruijun Gou*
Department of Safety Engineering, North University of China Taiyuan, Shanxi, 030051, P. R. China

© 2012 Zhang and Gou

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Chemical Engineering and Environment, North University of China, Xueyuan Road 3, Taiyuan, Shanxi, 030051 China; Tel: +86-0351-3921446 (Office), +86- 13994272808; Fax: +86-0351-3922118; E-mail:


The Red copper has been widely used in shaped charge liner because of good ductility. Red copper penetrator is a Linear Explosively Formed Penetrator (LEFP) when linear red copper shaped charge liner overturned under the effect of detonation production. Compared with ordinary jet swords, red copper penetrator has a wider range of stand-off, bigger cratering and significant aftereffect, which can meet the requirements in various environments. It was observed that bifurcate fracturing of red copper penetrator occurred in the performance testing of LEFP initiated on edge midpoint as the stand-off increased, which resulted in the separate craters on the target and the cratering effect was weakened. The Propagation of detonation wave and the interaction with red copper shaped charge liner were theoretically and experimentally studied, also numerical simulations were conducted. The results showed that velocities of charge liner elements were directly proportional to those of detonation waves, which caused different velocity directions and values of different elements, and great velocity gradient formed in the penetrator. The penetrator fractured as the elongations both on the vertical and horizontal directions were greater than the dynamic elongation of red copper. It was concluded that the main factor which resulted in the bifurcate fracture phenomenon was velocity gradient in the penetrator.

Keywords: Linear red copper penetrator, bifurcate fracture, stand-off, numerical simulation.