This section is from "Scientific American Supplement". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.

Equation (2) may be written thus -

t = T | R - - - R + r | · | r - Rr - - - - r2 | (3) |

Substituting successively r = r and r = R, we obtain expressions for the stresses on the external and internal radii -

t = T | R - r - - - R + r | and | t = - T | R - r | R - r - - R + r |

Therefore, in a homogeneous hollow cylinder, in which the internal stresses are theoretically most advantageous, the layer situated next to the bore must be in a state of compression, and the amount of compression relative to the tension in the external layer is measured by the inverse ratio of the radii of these layers. It is further evident that the internal stresses will obey a definite but very simple law, namely, there will be in the hollow cylinder a layer whose radius is √R r, in which the stress is nil; from this layer the stresses increase toward the external and the internal radii of the cylinder, where they attain a maximum, being in compression in the internal layers and in tension in the external ones.

The internal pressures corresponding to these stresses may be found by means of very simple calculations. The expression for this purpose, reduced to its most convenient form, is as follows:

p = T | R - - - R + r | ( | R - r | - 1 | ) | ( | 1 - | r - r | ) | (4) |

In order to represent more clearly the distribution of stresses and pressures in the metal of a homogeneous ideally perfect hollow cylinder, let us take, as an example, the barrel of a 6 in. gun - 153 mm. Let us suppose T = 3,000 atmospheres; therefore, under the most favorable conditions, P = 1.41 T, or 4,230 atmospheres. From Equation (1) we determine R = 184.36 mm. With these data were calculated the internal stresses and the pressures from which the curve represented in Fig. 1 is constructed. The stresses developed under fire with a pressure in the bore of 4,230 atmospheres are represented by a line parallel to the axis of the abscissae, since their value is the same throughout all the layers of metal and equal to the elastic limit, 3,000 atmospheres. If, previous to firing, the metal of the tube were free from any internal stresses, then the resistance of the tube would be

P = U | R2 - r2 - - - - R2 + r2 |

or 2,115 atmospheres - that is, one-half that in the ideally perfect cylinder. From this we perceive the great advantage of developing useful initial stresses in the metal and of regulating the conditions of manufacture accordingly. Unless due attention be paid to such precautions, and injurious stresses be permitted to develop themselves in the metal, then the resistance of the cylinder will always be less than 2,115 atmospheres; besides which, when the initial stresses exceed a certain intensity, the elastic limit will be exceeded, even without the action of external pressures, so that the bore of the gun will not be in a condition to withstand any pressure because the tensile stress due to such pressure, and which acts tangentially to the circumference, will increase the stress, already excessive, in the layers of the cylinder; and this will occur, notwithstanding the circumstance that the metal, according to the indications of test pieces taken from the bore, possessed the high elastic limit of 3,000 atmospheres.

Fig. 1In order to understand more thoroughly the difference of the law of distribution of useful internal stresses as applied to homogeneous or to built-up cylinders, let us imagine the latter having the external and internal radii of the same length as in the first case, but as being composed of two layers - that is to say, made up of a tube with one hoop shrunk on under the most favorable conditions - when the internal radius of the hoop = √R v or 118.7 mm., Fig. 2, has been traced, after calculating, by means of the usual well known formulae, the amount of pressure exerted by the hoop on the tube, as well as the stresses and pressures inside the tube and the hoop, before and after firing. A comparison of these curves with those on Fig. 1 will show the difference between the internal stresses in a homogeneous and in a built-up cylinder. In the case of the hooped gun, the stresses in the layers before firing, both in the tube and in the hoop, diminish in intensity from the inside of the bore outward; but this decrease is comparatively small. In the first place, the layer in which the stresses are = 0 when the gun is in a state of rest does not exist. Secondly, under the pressure produced by the discharge, all the layers do not acquire simultaneously a strain equal to the elastic limit. Only two of them, situated on the internal radii of the tube and hoop, reach such a stress; whence it follows that a cylinder so constructed possesses less resistance than one which is homogeneous and at the same time endowed with ideally perfect useful initial stresses.

The work done by the forces acting on a homogeneous cylinder is represented by the area a b c d, and in a built-up cylinder by the two areas a' b' c' d' and a" b" c" d". Calculation shows also that the resistance of the built-up cylinder is only 3,262 atmospheres, or 72 per cent. of the resistance of a homogeneous cylinder. By increasing the number of layers or rows of hoops shrunk on, while the total thickness of metal and the caliber of the gun remains the same, we also increase the number of layers participating equally in the total resistance to the pressure in the bore, and taking up strains which are not only equal throughout, but are also the greatest possible. We see an endeavor to realize this idea in the systems advocated by Longridge, Schultz, and others, either by enveloping the inner tubes in numerous coils of wire, or, as in the later imitations of this system, by constructing guns with a greater number of thin hoops shrunk on in the customary manner. But in wire guns, as well as in those with a larger number of hoops - from four to six rows and more - the increase in strength anticipated is acknowledged to be obtained in spite of a departure from one of the fundamental principles of the theory of hooping, since in the majority of guns of this type the initial compression of the metal at the surface of the bore exceeds its elastic limit.3 We have these examples of departure from first principles, coupled with the assumption that initial stresses do not exist in any form in the metal of the inner tube previous to the hoops having been shrunk on; but if the tube happen to be under the influence of the most advantageous initial stresses, and we proceed either to hoop it or to envelope it with wire, according to the principles at present in vogue, then, without doubt, we shall injure the metal of the tube; its powers of resistance will be diminished instead of increased, because the metal at the surface of the bore would be compressed to an amount exceeding twice its elastic limit.

Continue to: