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A new concept launcher Propellant-Free LAW!

#1 User is offline   Skippy 

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Post icon  Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:39 AM

Ahoyhoy. I was eating this morning and something just sort of struck me, and I felt the need to post it. I'm *fairly* sure that nobody has ever done this specific application of the design, so hear me out.

Okay, here's how it works. On one of these vacuum cannons, you have 2 parts: the barrel, and a vacuum pump. The vacuum pump is connected to the barrel using a quick disconnect valve of some sort, coming out perpendicular to the barrel, somewhere ahead of the back end. The main differance between this cannon and a compressed air cannon is that this type does NOT require a pressure tank, the potential energy is all stored in the barrel itself. To charge the barrel, first a loose fitting cap is placed over the muzzle (it simply needs to be able to form a seal with the muzzle, but not stick) and a projectile is loaded into the breech end. Then, using some manner of tape (Tuck Tape, the type used for sealing windows and stuff seems to work best) the breech is sealed off. Now, the vacuum pump is hooked up to the quick disconnect on the barrel, and the air is pumped out. It is important that the disconnect is located ahead of the projectile in the barrel, for obvious reasons. Firing the cannon is accomplished by simply piercing the tape over the breech. The vacuum ahead of the projectile causes the projectile to be "sucked" forward, as the air rushes in the breech to fill the differance.

Now, I figure, if that quick disconnect were a valve that could be closed, you would be able to charge this unit and disconnect it from the vacuum pump, then hold onto it until needed. This would allow for a relatively compact LAW style weapon that is little more than a section of pipe, so you probably wouldn't feel too bad about discarding it until the end of the match after firing.

Rigging up safeties and firing systems would be fairly simple as well. Safety caps would be a must, using pipe end caps with some manner of locking system to hold them to the barrel in the event of a misfire, but easy enough to remove before firing. A trigger system would be little more than some sort of lever assembly to move a pierce pin into the breech.

I'm considering building one or two of these, since it looks like they wouldn't be too expensive to make. Any questions/comments? Feedback would be appreciated.

EDIT: Okay, new image which shows some stuff a little more clearly, such as the direction you point it. ;)
Attached File  vacuum_LAW_v2.bmp (810.05K)
Number of downloads: 104

Also, here's a link showing a lame cannon that uses the same principal. This isn't the one I got the idea from, but it's basically the same idea. It might help you understand exactly how this thing works, because it isn't obvious.

http://apwww.stmarys.ca/demos/content/mech...air_cannon.html

Thanks!

This post has been edited by Skippy: 10 February 2007 - 09:27 PM

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#2 User is offline   Schwimmy 

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 09:16 AM

What kind of ammunition would you use? Would the grenade/paintballs burst because of the loss of pressure outside their membrane?
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#3 User is offline   Skippy 

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 04:13 PM

Huh? What the... I swear to god I wrote the answer to that when I originally posted.

AH! I see. Something happened to my second paragraph, it's not even there. It explained the whole thing, so I'll try and duplicate it here.

The reason I posted this was because I figured out a projectile that won't burst when you vacuum the air out: a nerf vortex rocket. I'm sure someone with some tomfoolery skills can create some way of firing paintballs and grenades without them going off in the barrel, but that person isn't me. I may run some paintballs through a vacuum chamber to see what happens, though. I'm interested in knowing if there's enough air or other gas in them to cause it to explode.

Once again, sorry. I didn't notice it wasn't there. I probably accidentally deleted it or something when writing the original post.
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#4 User is offline   Flakk 

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 04:31 PM

This propulsion method wont work unless the removed air is forced back in after the projectile passes the valve. otherwise the projectile will be forced back by the higher pressure air outside the muzzle (as oppsosed to the rarified gas flowing into the breach). the kinetic energy may carry it to the muzzle, but at that point there needs to be higher pressure behind the projectile than outside, otherwise it will meet resistance.


The sabot will only accelerate away from high-pressure air

This post has been edited by Flakk: 09 February 2007 - 04:44 PM

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#5 User is offline   Skippy 

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 05:53 PM

Wrong. I know it works, because I have seen it done first hand. It is actually *extremely* powerful when done correctly. The resistance the projectile meets when it reaches the muzzle, where there is no more vacuum, is negligable compared to the kinetic energy it gains as it accellerates down the tube. It simply blows the end cap out, and away it goes.

Quick ghetto-diagrams time!

| represents tape,
= represents barrel,
> represents projectile,
] represents end cap.

Charged
|>=====] The projectile sits at the very rear of the tube, with strong vacuum between it and the muzzle.

Firing
===>==] The tape over the breech is punctured, and air rushes in, causing the projectile to be sucked forward into the low-pressure vacuum.

Exiting the muzzle
====== > ] On impact with the end cap over the muzzle, the projectile simply knocks it away, since the vacuum that was holding it in place is now negligable. The projectile flys off to smoke whatever you were aiming at, and the end cap is discarded (you would want to tether it to the barrel, so you don't lose it.)

Hope that cleared it up.
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#6 User is offline   PliskinAJ 

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:36 PM

You will have to figure out something about the equlibium you will have when the round is about half way out the barrel. I do hope it works becuase that would be cool. It would make the laws actually like a law, single shot but very small.
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#7 User is offline   Skippy 

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 11:00 PM

Ahh, but there is no equilibrium, which is what makes this system so great. There will always be force, until the projectile reaches the muzzle, because there will always be vacuum ahead of it. The vacuum keeps the seal between the muzzle and the projectile, and is only broken when the projectile slams into the muzzle cap, but at that point the vacuum is so weak that there is very little energy lost.

Yeah, the whole idea is to reduce the size of LAWs. One of these could be the size of an actual LAW unit, since there are no bulky tanks or hoses to deal with. The only materials needed to build one are a pipe, a valve, and a vacuum pump, so the potential price of LAWs drops signifigantly. This is also much safer to carry around charged than compressed air cannons, since if for any reason the containment fails, at worst it will implode, rather than shatter and frag everyone in a 20 foot radius. But most likely if it failed, it would either just equalize the vacuum, or fire the round. If there is a safety cap over the barrel that locks in place until needed, that would stop a misfired round in the tube.
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#8 User is offline   Skippy 

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 07:45 PM

Okay, I got bored so I drew up a quick schematic for those who are interested. It has a fairly detailed explination of operation, so I don't think I need to go into that any further.

I'm really interested in this idea now. As soon as I have the free time, I'm going to try to build one.

EDIT: New image, it's in the original post now.

This post has been edited by Skippy: 10 February 2007 - 09:28 PM

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#9 User is offline   PliskinAJ 

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 10:49 PM

I hope it works well for you. If it does it might just revolutionize the LAWs and people might use them more then.
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#10 User is offline   Joinator 

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 11:01 PM

this is genious i am for sure trying it
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#11 User is offline   Zamamee 

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 10:46 PM

Instead of piercing a piece of tape, you could use a valve at the end.
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#12 User is offline   Taco Man 

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 06:39 AM

brilliant i like the idea of a vlve at the end. Probobly more reliable thnd tape. so basicly, you just kneed a trigger mecanism to open the vlave. the other thing, is maby a smaller projectile, like a shaved down vortex so maby it would be more compact. the other thing is like a geauge to judge what kind of negitive pressure gets what velocity you get.

also look at the potable military rocket launchers. great idea.

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This post has been edited by Taco Man: 14 February 2007 - 06:42 AM

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#13 User is offline   Skippy 

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 07:29 AM

You COULD use a valve, but you wouldn't get nearly as much air flow and response as with tape. The reason tape is used is that it's dirt cheap, simple to place, and it creates an opening the size of your barrel to maximize flow.

I was thinking of using a 1.5" barrel, and cut down vortexes to fit it. But if the projectile is slightly larger than the barrel, you might actually get better accuracy.

To sum it up, I really don't recommend using a valve instead. It probably wouldn't work as well.
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#14 User is offline   Zamamee 

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 08:47 AM

Maybe you could use PVC valves, and load the rocket through the valve. You can get PVC valves in increments like 1.5 inches and 2 inches.
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#15 User is offline   Lomarandil 

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 12:15 PM

how about one of the sewer gate valve things?.. Like this..

Posted Image
Slides up and down, gives full access to the back, would be easy and quick to open...

Lo

This post has been edited by Lomarandil: 14 February 2007 - 12:20 PM


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