Background: Erosive wear causes increase in bore diameter of firearms barrels and nozzles. Most responsible factors for this erosion are friction and heat generated during the shot. Protection from erosive wear is very important for gun tube life cycle, and various protection methods are used: adding phlegmatizers in gunpowder composition or applying protective layers on the gun bore inner surface.
Objective: In this research, a possibility is examined to protect the surface of a nozzle exposed to gunpowder erosion applying a layer of tungsten disulfide fullerene-like nanoparticles, IF-WS2, known as outstanding solid lubricant of a great mechanical resistance.
Method: Nanoparticles on the nozzle surface before and after the gunfire tests were observed using scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Gunfire tests were performed on designed erosion device. Temperatures in the defined position near the affected surface were measured with thermocouples and compared for the nozzles with and without nanoprotection, as well as the nozzle mass loss after each round.
Results: For the sample with IF-WS2 lower temperatures after firing and lower mass losses were observed. Mass loss after first round was 25.6% lower for the sample with protective nanoparticles layer, and the total mass loss was about 5% lower after five rounds. After the first round the nozzle without IF-WS2 was heated up to a temperature which was for 150.8°C higher than the nozzle with IF-WS2.
Conclusion: Protective function of IF-WS2 is most pronounced for the first round. The observed results encourage its further application in firearms gun bores protection.