A methodology to measure the metal erosion on recovered armatures
Maier, William B. II
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Metal erosion on railgun armatures is a life-limiting mechanism for electromagnetic guns. A methodology to measure the eroded metal and to plot erosion contours on the armatures would be helpful for optimization and development of armatures. Such a method would enable to correlate eroded mass with firing parameters. The object of our research is to develop a methodology to measure the metal erosion on recovered armatures, which were obtained from a railgun test research facility. The armature surfaces were painted a uniform white. We measured displacements from a fiducial plane with a commercial optical displacement sensor. The armatures were positioned by a computer-controlled XY table. Volume-loss contours were determined from the data. Most mass loss occurred on the lateral edges of the current-carrying surfaces of the armatures. Mass losses of 0.4-0.7 g per current carrying armature surface were inferred from our observations, but lack of information about firing parameters precluded correlations in this.
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