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"German Tank Rubber Analysis" from Tactical and Technical Trends

An engineering report on samples of German natural and artificial rubber from a Panzer III, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 33, September 9, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Analysis by British engineers of samples of natural and artificial rubber taken from the PzKw 3 tanks discloses some interesting points which are worth recording.

Two very similar articles, i.e. a vision forehead pad and a cupola pad of a 1940 model of this tank proved to be very different when analyzed. The former was made of natural rubber and was secured to the metal by the brass plating process. The cupola pad, on the other hand, was made from synthetic rubber and was attached to the metal by an adhesive paint. These samples confirm the previous supposition that the Germans have not yet learned how to make an efficient joint between synthetic rubber and metal.

The most interesting sample, however, was a section of a bogie wheel tire from a PzKw 3 tank (probably 1942). This sample proved to be made of synthetic rubber. This is said to be the first evidence received by the British authorities of this material being used by the Germans for solid tires. It seems to show that the Germans have made sufficient technical progress to overcome the heating difficulties previously arising when synthetic rubber was used for this type of work. The method of adhesion to the metal band was by means of an intermediate layer of hard, probably natural rubber.


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