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Rail and insulator erosion in rail guns

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5 Author(s)
Askew, R.F. ; Auburn University, AL and U.S. Air Force, AFATL, Eglin AFB, FL ; Chin, B. ; Tatarchuk, B.J. ; Brown, J.
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A persistent problem in rail guns is the erosion of rails and insulators, particularly near the breech. This is especially pronounced after multiple firings. Systematic experiments have been conducted using a 60 cm test bed facility designed for materials studies. Current waveforms characteristic of the early time for rail guns of 3-5 meters have been applied to the system using metal foil for the in-bore switch. The coupling of the resultant metallic plasma into the rail, the rail and insulator material removed, and the depth of rail surface melting have been determined as a function of position, local current density, and in-bore projectile speed.

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Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 6 )