Browse Prior Art Database

Rail Guns with Liquid Metal Electrodes

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000108899D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-23
Document File: 1 page(s) / 39K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hodgson, RT: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed are electrodes for rail guns formed from porous metal and impregnated with liquid metal.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 100% of the total text.

Rail Guns with Liquid Metal Electrodes

      Disclosed are electrodes for rail guns formed from porous metal
and impregnated with liquid metal.

      Rail guns cannot be used for commercial purposes because the
conducting rails get pitted and destroyed by the arc currents used to
accelerate the projectile.

      The cross section of the rail gun is sketched in figure 1,
where the liquid metal 1 such as indium tin alloy is held by surface
tension to a porous metal wick 2 (such as tungsten) and away from the
insulating body 3 of the rail gun.  Because of the wicking action,
the electrode can be in any position in the gun, and multiple
electrodes can be used to ensure a more uniform current pattern.

      The railgun is sketched in plan in figure 2.  It consists of a
long tube 3 with at least two conducting rails 4 along the sides.
When a projectile 5 is placed in the tube, the conducting material 6
of the projectile conducts current from the capacitor 7 from one rail
to another.   The magnetic field generated by the current fills up
the tube from the start of the tube to the projectile.  The current
flowing through the projectile interacts with this magnetic field to
provide a force, which accelerates the projectile down the tube.

      Disclosed anonymously.