A kinetic energy penetrator (also known as a KE weapon) is a type of ammunition which, like a bullet, does not contain explosives and uses kinetic energy to penetrate the target. The principle of the tungsten kinetic energy penetrator is that it uses its kinetic energy, which is a function of mass and velocity, to force its way through armor. The modern KE weapon maximizes KE and minimizes the area over which it is delivered by:
- Being fired with a very high muzzle velocity
- Concentrating the force in a small impact area while still retaining a relatively large mass
- Maximizing the mass of whatever (albeit small) volume is occupied by the projectile—that is, using the densest metals practical, which is one of the reasons depleted uranium is often used.
Tungsten kinetic energy penetrators resemble a long metal arrow.
Due to its high density, high hardness, high temperature resistance, and environmental-friendliness etc., tungsten copper alloy is the ideal material to manufacture kinetic energy penetrators.