Effect of electrical/chemical energy input on the Interior Ballistics of an Electrothermal Chemical Gun

J. L. Chen, Fan-bill B. Cheung, K. K. Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recent studies have clearly indicated that an electothermal chemical (ETC) gun provides many advantages over solid and liquid propellant guns. However, the interior ballistic process of an ETC gun has not yet been fully investigated. Specifically, the effects of the energy ratio between the electrical and chemical energy input on gun performance is not well understood. Nor is it known exactly how chemical energy is converted to propulsive energy during the ETC gun event. In view of this, a comprehensive theoretical model taking into full account electrical/chemical energy input, liquid entrainment process, distribution of dispersed droplets, and liquid propellant combustion, is developed to simulate the interior ballistics of an ETC gun. Governing equations are formulated from first principles for five different regions, including the gas phase (i.e., Taylor cavity), working fluid (i.e., liquid propellant), dispersed droplets, projectile, and plasma generation cartridge (PGC). Various energy ratios with two different PFN discharge characteristics are employed to evaluate ETC gun performance. Results indicate that the gun champer pressure, muzzle velocity, and ballistic efficiency depend strongly on the energy ratio. The electrical energy input and chemical energy release processes show unequal influence on the gun performance over different stages of ETC gun event. The predicted time history of the breech presure is compared with the measured breech pressur available in the literature. The results show that shapes of the breech pressure‐time traces and values of the peak pressure predicted by the present model agree reasonably well with the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalPropellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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