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US Patent Office. A no-explosive/molten metal torpedo

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US Patent Office. A no-explosive/molten metal torpedo

Postby U-5075 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:49 pm

15:24 12 March 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Barry Fox
Molten metal bomb
Torpedoes that carry no high explosives but can still blow up their targets are now a possibility, says the Naval Undersea Warfare Center at Newport, Rhode Island, US.

Conventional rocket-powered torpedoes are designed to dissipate heat into the water as they travel towards their target. This is necessary to stop them getting so hot that the high explosive payload self-destructs.

The Navy’s new torpedo has an outer shell of titanium which houses a payload of aluminium metal chunks. The heat from the rocket motor melts the aluminium en route, so by the time the torpedo reaches its target, the titanium shell is full of liquid metal.

On impact, a small charge ruptures the shell allowing the molten metal escape into and instantly vaporize the surrounding water. This creates an underwater vapour explosion with shock waves carrying molten metal shrapnel.


AND FROM THE US PATENT OFICE


United States Patent Application 20060278151
Kind Code A1
Kuklinski; Robert December 14, 2006



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Vapor explosion weapon



Abstract
The apparatus of the present invention utilizes the heat energy of a weapon propulsion system to produce a vapor explosion. It includes an outer shell with a nozzle port and a body being made from a metal. The body surrounds a propulsion device and captures its waste heat to heat metal within the body. An explosive device is embedded in the body and can explode on transmission of a signal whereby the heated metal within the body produces a vapor explosion that significantly enhances the effectiveness and lethality of the weapon. The apparatus also discloses a second metal in the body and a heat shield for further enhancing effectiveness.

Claims

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1. An apparatus for utilizing the heat energy of a weapon propulsion system to produce a vapor explosion, comprising: an outer shell defining a chamber having a nozzle port; a body portion disposed within the outer shell and being composed of a first metal having a first predetermined melting temperature, the body portion having a space sized to receive a propulsion device such that the body portion envelopes a substantial portion of the propulsion device, the space having an opening in communication with the nozzle port from which a portion of the propulsion device can extend; an explosive device embedded in the body portion; and an electrical link connected to the explosive device capable of transmitting a signal to detonate the explosive device, the electrical link extending from the body portion.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising at least one layer fabricated from a second metal embedded within the body portion, the second metal having a second predetermined melting temperature that is less than the first predetermined melting temperature such that the second metal melts before the first metal.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said at least one layer of the second metal is exposed within the space of the body portion so as to contact a propulsion device when such a propulsion device is disposed within the space.

4. The apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said at least one layer comprises multiple layers, and said layers are spaced apart and generally parallel to each other.

5. The apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the second metal is chosen from the group comprising lithium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and lead.

6. The apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a heat shield that substantially envelopes the body portion and has an aperture therein corresponding to the opening in the space.

7. The apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the heat shield has a third melting temperature that is significantly greater than the first melting temperatures.

8. The apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a second heat shield disposed between the explosive device and the body portion to thermally isolate the explosive device.

9. The apparatus according to claim 8 wherein the outer shell has a plurality of seams that are configured to rupture upon an explosion occurring within the chamber

10. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the first metal is aluminum.

11. A weapon propulsion system, comprising: an outer shell defining a chamber having a nozzle port, the outer shell having a plurality of seams that are configured to rupture upon an explosion occurring within the chamber; a body portion disposed within the outer shell and being composed of a first metal having a first predetermined melting temperature, the body portion having a propulsion device space formed therein, the propulsion device space having an opening that is substantially aligned with the nozzle port; an explosive device embedded in the body portion; an electrical link joined to the explosive device and capable of transmitting an electrical signal that detonates the explosive device, the electrical link extending from the body portion; and a propulsion device positioned within the propulsion device space of the body portion and having a nozzle extending through the opening and nozzle port, the propulsion device generating an amount of heat during operation thereof sufficient to melt at least a portion of the body portion.

12. The weapon propulsion system according to claim 11 further comprising a heat shield between the body portion and the outer shell to contain the heat generated by the propulsion device to facilitate melting at least a portion of the body portion.

13. The weapon propulsion system according to claim 11 further comprising a heat shield between the explosive charge and the body portion to thermally isolate the explosive charge.

14. The weapon propulsion system according to claim 11 further comprising at least one layer composed of a second metal embedded within the body portion, the second metal having a second predetermined melting temperature that is less than the first predetermined melting temperature.

15. The weapon propulsion system according to claim 14 wherein the at least one layer comprise multiple layers and the multiple layers are spaced apart and generally parallel to each other.

16. The weapon propulsion system according to claim 14 wherein the second metal is chosen from the group comprising lithium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and lead.

17. The weapon propulsion system according to claim 11 wherein the first metal is aluminum.

18. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a forward section; a weapon control module positioned in the forward section for controlling the weapon wherein said outer shell is positioned to the rear of the forward section said electrical link being joined between the weapon control module and the explosive device; a propulsion device positioned within the propulsion device space of the body portion and having a nozzle extending through the opening and the nozzle port, the propulsion device capable of generating an amount of waste heat; and a heat shield positioned between the outer shell and the body portion and between the outer shell and the forward section to contain the waste heat generated by the propulsion device.

19. The weapon according to claim is further comprising at least one layer composed of a second metal embedded within the body portion the second metal having a second predetermined melting temperature that is less than the first predetermined melting temperature

20. The weapon according to claim 19 whereby said waste heat generated by the propulsion device is sufficient to melt and superheat the second metal thereby producing molten metal and whereby upon termination of the weapon mission, the weapon control system effects detonation of the explosive charge so as to rupture the outer shell and allow the molten metal to react with the liquid medium to produce a vapor explosion.
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