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Proceedings Paper

Evaluation of ALON for cannon window application
Author(s): Richard A. Beyer; Henry Kerwien
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Paper Abstract

In the application of laser ignition to large caliber cannons, a critical element is the window into the cannon chamber to admit the laser energy. This window must repeatedly withstand a particularly harsh environment of highly reactive high temperature combustion products from the gun propeller at pressures up to 440 MPa. Failure of the window can be caused by either thermal gradients in the window or mechanical force, or a combustion. Previous successes with single-crystal sapphire have sometimes been limited by window deterioration modes suggestive of crystalline behavior. Samples of ALON have been fabricated in the same design as the standard sapphire windows and were qualified for gun testing. This process involves a series of experiments in a closed chamber where gun propellant is burned to generate an environment similar to that inside the gun. Windows mounted in two methods have been tested. One of these windows has survived the full pre-gun test series with no visible damage.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 July 1999
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3705, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials VI, (26 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354614
Show Author Affiliations
Richard A. Beyer, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Henry Kerwien, U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3705:
Window and Dome Technologies and Materials VI
Randal W. Tustison, Editor(s)

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