Design and Testing of a Laminated Frame Railgun
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The Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin (CEM-UT) has successfully tested a new, lightweight, laminated steel railgun structure. The laminated structure reduced the launcher's weight by greater than 80% as compared to hydraulically preloaded structures, while maintaining excellent stiffness properties. Two experiments have been performed on a 0.75 m long version of this launcher in which 65-g aluminum armatures were accelerated to approximately 1, 000 m/s, as determined by in-bore magnetic probes and in-flight photos of the armature. Experimental performance indicates an inductance gradient of O. 47 μH/m for this launcher configuration..