Multilayer pipe

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A multilayer barrel is a special type of weapon barrel from the 19th century. Such pipes were prepared with hot-drawn rings, jackets or wire to absorb higher internal pressures. Weapons with these tubes were often called ring cannons and the like.

Jacketed barrel of a British RML 11 inch gun
Comparison of the stress of a full barrel compared to a ring cannon
Ring barrel of the 8.4 cm field gun Ord 1879/81 (Switzerland)

The development of powder charges , in particular slow-burning powder, made it possible to use ever greater gas pressures. Initially, an attempt was made to strengthen cast solid pipes with greater wall thicknesses, but this is only possible to a limited extent, because at some point the material thickness of the pipe has little influence on the load on the inner wall of the pipe. In the 19th century it was recognized that when pressure was applied to the pipe from outside, it counteracted the expansion pressure of the powder gases.

In the 1840s, the American Daniel Treadwell wrapped strips of wrought iron around a steel core barrel. The new design was established around 1855 by the British William Armstrong . Armstrong rings or jackets were made of wrought iron around the core run- shrunk .

In principle, the layers could cover the whole or only part of the core tube. The rear end was reinforced by more layers than the part at the mouth because the gas pressure is greater there. The trunnions were no longer on the core tube, but on the outer layer. In breech-loaders, the lock was either housed in the core tube or in the jacket tube. The quality of the rings had an influence on the vibration behavior of the barrel and thus on the accuracy of the gun.

Different types of multilayer pipes have been developed:

  • Ring tube: The core tube is surrounded by one or more layers of warm wrapped rings. Ring tubes were replaced by jacket and jacket ring tubes because these were superior in various respects.
  • Jacket pipe: The core pipe is surrounded by a warm jacket. This construction was mainly used for smaller guns.
  • Shell ring tube: The core tube is provided with a jacket and is also reinforced by one or a larger number of rings (in one or more layers). The jacket tube was used for heavy artillery.
  • Wire tube : The core tube is made of steel wire in a large number of layers. Round, square or rectangular cross-section wound steel strip. A jacket that carries the trunnion encloses and protects the outermost layer of wire.

Multi-layer pipes remained in use until they were gradually replaced by the autofrettage discovered at the beginning of the 20th century .

See also

For guns made with rings in the Middle Ages, see rod ring gun .


  • Friedrich Dörge: The history of the wire gun barrel . In: History of technology: Contributions to the history of technology and industry . No. 27 , 1938, pp. 30-40 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Thomas Enke: Fundamentals of weapon and ammunition technology , Walhalla Fachverlag , 2020, ISBN 978-3-8029-6215-8 pp. 133-135
  2. a b Uday S Dixit, Seikh Mustafa Kamal, Rajkumar Shufen: Autofrettage Processes: Technology and Modeling , Verlag CRC Press , 2019, ISBN 9780429757983 pp. 15-16 [1]
  3. ^ Otto Lueger : Geschützfabrikation in: Lexicon of the entire technology and its auxiliary sciences , Vol. 4 Stuttgart, Leipzig 1906., S. 425-430. [2] on