Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Metallurgical and Materials Engineering


Larry E. Murr


The aerosolized particulates produced during an impact of depleted uranium munitions can potentially contaminate extensive areas around the impact sites and cause a wide spectrum of civilian and military damage. Thus materials such as WHA have been prompted for consideration. The present research is concerned with the regular collection of aerosol particulates associated with ballistic WHA rod penetration into rolled homogeneous steel (RHA) or other related steel armor as armor plate sequences. Particulate size characterization via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) along with chemical compositions via energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) were the focus of this research. Particulates were directly exposed to human epithelial (lung) cells in culture to assess their inflammatory and related respiratory health effects. W-Ni-Fe and W-Ni-Co particulate samples were examined. Most SEM/EDS results showed that the propensity of the ballistic penetration-related debris and aerosol particulate mass is associated with particle aggregates > 1 μm. Nanoparticulates were easier to observe in the TEM analyses, which account for the most significant fraction of aerosol particulate. Aerosol nanoparticulates for the majority of filter collections exhibited significant cytotoxicity for A549 human epithelial cells.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

79 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Brenda Ivette Machado