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Author Topic: How Could a Steam Rifle Work?  (Read 27113 times)
Zeppelin Captain
United States United States

« Reply #75 on: September 14, 2014, 09:37:19 am »

Have a rifle cartridge filled with water instead of gunpowder, then dump a massive dose of electricity through the casing, enough to heat it up quickly enough to flash-boil the water. That ought to work.. in my mind at least..
That's very similar to the way nuclear weapons are detonated.  A capacitor bank is dumped into a small wire using a krytron switch filled with krypton gas to get a 10ns rise time. The wire explodes, setting off the chemical explosives. It's done this way so that all the explosives for the implosion squeeze go off within a few nanoseconds of each other. This is necessary to get a symmetrical implosion.

The same technology could be used to fire a gun on electrical power only. But you'd have to haul around a big capacitor bank.

Rory B Esq BSc
Snr. Officer
United Kingdom United Kingdom

« Reply #76 on: September 15, 2014, 07:58:28 pm »

So a cartridge containing water and 'fuse wire' (with suitable insulation and connectors), Put a high current through it to 'blow the fuse' and create the steam. Assuming a brass cartridge case it could be 'center fire' with the other connector to what is the primer on a standard cartridge and the firing pin making the circuit.

The insulation between the case and the contact that replaces the primer (and between the +ve and-ve parts of the circuit) could be something like epoxy putty which would make a good seal, and can be molded to fit in the factory or by a home 're-loader'.

Depending on the pressures expected it may be necessary to use a stainless steel (or plated) barrel. To reduce fouling the water should be distilled, Calcium carbonate build up from 'hard water' could cause problems.
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