- 04 Δεκ 2023, 09:33
Θωράκιση γερμανικών αρμάτων Β΄ΠΠ.
Later WWII German tanks often employed 'interlocking' armor at plate joins.
There are a few reasons for this.
Joining any two thick steel plates together is no easy task, and requires some serious strength. Many countries opted to cast parts of their tanks to avoid welding large plates together and increase production speed.
Germany mainly used plates as their choice of armor, which has a slight benefit in armor protection, but, as mentioned, is much harder to join. Additionally, welds run the risk of cracking when the armor is impacted.
Germany also faced another problem in the later years of the war: materials. The materials and ingredients required to make strong, high quality armor were in ever decreasing supply. To compensate for this and maintain protection levels, steels with a much higher carbon content were used.
However, these suboptimal ingredients meant these steels became harder to weld together, further increasing the risk of welds breaking open after an impact.
So the Germans added interlocking armor to bolster the strength of the joins.
Before any welds are even added, interlocked armor joins are already strong as they are held together by gravity. As a result, they normally don't require as much weld to hold together.
But the higher carbon plates did need more weld, and interlocking armor helped here too. The notches increased the join area, meaning the line of weld can be much longer without much cost in size.
In the event that a weld did break, the interlocking plates held each other in place.
The drawback of interlocked armor plates was the added complexity on production lines, reducing production speed. The notches had to be cut out of plates sometimes up to 250 mm thick - as on the Jagdtiger - by highly skilled engineers, and then required more highly skilled welders to finish the join.
This contributed to the lower production rates of German vehicles.
In short: A lack of materials made German armor plates harder to weld together. Interlocking armor increased join strength by supporting itself under gravity and providing a larger area to weld.