Research Papers

Dynamic Modeling and Design of a Bulk-Loaded Liquid Monopropellant Powered Rifle

[+] Author and Article Information
Mark Adams, Eric J. Barth

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 130(6), 061001 (Sep 24, 2008) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2977464 History: Received January 06, 2006; Revised May 20, 2008; Published September 24, 2008

This paper presents a dynamic model of the interior ballistics of an experimental liquid propellant powered rifle. The liquid propellant powered rifle described utilizes a mixture of hydroxyl ammonium nitrate and hydrocarbon fuel to replace gunpowder typically used in such firearms. The motivation for such a development is to discard the need for a shell casing whereby carrying only propellant and bullets will reduce both the mass and volume per shot carried by the soldier. A first-principles dynamic model of the interior ballistics is derived as a compressible fluid power problem with the chemical liberation of heat within the chamber modeled via a condensed-phase reaction rate law. The model is used to predict the overall performance in terms of ballistic kinetic energy as well as draw design insight regarding the role of friction, chamber geometry, and the profile of chamber pressure with respect to time. Simulation results are presented as well as preliminary experimental results from a proof-of-concept device.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 3

The number of shots capable of being stored in an M16 magazine with (left) and without (right) shell casings

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Figure 4

Schematic of the liquid propellant model

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Figure 5

Pressure in the chamber

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Figure 6

Temperature in the chamber

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Figure 7

Velocity of the bullet and velocity of the gas/liquid interface

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Figure 8

Mass of the liquid propellant as the reaction proceeds

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Figure 9

Exploded view of the experimental prototype showing (from left to right) the barrel, the barrel flange, the bullet seat, the assembly collar, the combustion chamber carrier, and the firing/trigger mechanism

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Figure 10

22-caliber experimental setup schematic

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Figure 11

Small initial chamber diameter

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Figure 12

Pressure in the gas control volume for various initial chamber diameters

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Figure 13

Mass of the remaining propellant for various initial chamber diameters

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Figure 14

Temperature in the gas control volume for various initial chamber diameters

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Figure 15

Velocity of the projectile for various initial chamber diameters



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