A Brief Journey Through the History of Gun Propulsion


ABSTRACT While the use of guns and gun-like devices extends back in history for more than a millennium the past century has been marked by significant advances in the technology of guns the projectiles they launch and the propulsion systems employed to launch these projectiles to ever-increasing velocities. This report chronicles a sampling of theoretical and experimental advances in the science of gun propulsion and its application to a wide range of practical gun propulsion concepts.

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    ABSTRACT: There are numerous applications for small-scale actuation utilizing pyrotechnics and explosives. In certain applications, especially when multiple actuation strokes are needed, or actuator reuse is required, it is desirable to have all gaseous combustion products with no condensed residue in the actuator cylinder. Toward this goal, we have performed experiments on utilizing milligram quantities of high explosives to drive a millimeter-diameter actuator with a stroke of 30 mm. Calculations were performed to select proper material quantities to provide 0.5 J of actuation energy. This was performed utilizing the thermochemical code Cheetah to calculate the impetus for numerous propellants and to select quantities based on estimated efficiencies of these propellants at small scales. Milligram quantities of propellants were loaded into a small-scale actuator and ignited with an ignition increment and hot wire ignition. Actuator combustion chamber pressure was monitored with a pressure transducer and actuator stroke was monitored using a laser displacement meter. Total actuation energy was determined by calculating the kinetic energy of reaction mass motion against gravity. Of the materials utilized, the best performance was obtained with a mixture of 2,4,6,8,10,12-hexanitro-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20) and bis-triaminoguanidinium(3,3′dinitroazotriazolate) (TAGDNAT).
    Propellants Explosives Pyrotechnics 06/2010; 35(3):207-212. DOI:10.1002/prep.201000025 · 1.60 Impact Factor


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