Critical Velocity of Electromagnetic Rail Gun in Response to Projectile Movement

Report No. ARL-TR-2794
Authors: Jerome T. Tzeng
Date/Pages: August 2002; 15 pages
Abstract: A model is developed to investigate the dynamic response of an electromagnetic rail gun induced by a moving magnetic pressure during launch of projectiles. As the projectile velocity approaches a critical value, resonance can occur and cause high-amplitude stress and strain in the rail at the instant and location of the projectile's passage. In this study, governing equations of a railgun under dynamic-loading conditions are derived that illustrate a lower-bound critical velocity in terms of material properties, geometry, and barrel cross section. A study is then performed to show the effect of these parameters on the critical velocity of the barrel. Accordingly, the model that accounts for projectile velocity and gun construction can be used to guide barrel design.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2002