Laser-Assisted Seamless Joining of Ceramic Gun Barrels

Period of Performance: 11/17/2005 - 05/15/2006

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Recent advances in armament munitions technology driven by increased muzzle velocity and range specifications require the consideration of silicon nitride ceramic materials for the inner bore of gun barrels. While this material is an excellent candidate, the tight dimensional tolerances required limit the ceramic tube length to 200 mm or less. Hence, innovative joining techniques are required to produce long gun barrel liners that are 1 m or greater in length. Our innovation is a novel, laser-assisted, seamless joining (LASJ) technique that enables localized, controllable, and uniform heating to create a joint that approaches the strength of the virgin material. This novel process combines recent advances in seamless joining with the flexibility of controlled laser heating. Current approaches are hampered by the need for large, inflexible facilities and elaborate control systems. In contrast to current techniques, our approach is compact, flexible, controllable, and affordable.