Metallurgy Research Centre

  • 14 de noviembre de 2016

Development of eco-friendly lead-free shotgun in the framework of a research project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity.

The main goal of GREENSHOT project, funded by MINECO under RETOS COLABORACIÓN 2014 programme, is the development of an ecological alternative to the current lead shotgun.

During the project, iron and zinc alloys have been produced at laboratory scale, with densities ranging 8.5-9 g/cm3 and hardness values between 30 and 100HV.

With the aim of improving the technical properties of the base materials, reinforcing metals (tungsten, bismuth, etc) and other elements have been added, which provide the required properties -from a ballistic point of view- to the alloy.

In the months of May to October, a series of industrial tests have been carried out in the company MONTORRETAS S.A. to manufacture shot pellets from the zinc alloy through the shot tower method (the alloy heated until molten is poured and dropped through the holes of a sieve more than 35 m high in a tower and forms tiny globules as it falls, which are caught in a water-filled container).

Manufacture of gun pellets using the shot tower technique

The shot pellets obtained in the first industrial scale tests have failed to achieve a perfectly spherical geometry. It is expected that the sphericity improves in subsequent trials, so that the intended prototype is attained.