High Velocity Electromagnetic Mass Launcher Having an Ablation Resistant Insulator
Patent, Filed 1 Jun 94, patented 5 Jan 99
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON DC
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A railgun having a composite insulator of laminated materials positioned between the rails. The composite insulator is comprised of a series of conducting layers oriented with the edges toward the bore, or barrel, of the railgun and their wide edges away from the bore. The laminate is layed lengthwise along the rails and is comprised of conducting layers of a high heat conductivity metal interleaved with an insulator material. The insulator material allows the composite insulator to stand off the voltages in a plasma armature even under high radiation flux conditions. Below the conducting materials ablation threshold the amount of ablation produced by the composite insulator is reduced by the reduction of insulator surface area exposed to the radiation. This allows better control of armature growth, mass acceleration by the plasma armature, secondary formation, and other factors normally found to retard projectile acceleration.