Single Stage Light Gas Gun

Single-stage gas gun for impact and ballistic testing of materials under shock conditions.

Single stage light gas gun (top left); penetrators loaded in sabot (top right); sample penetrators (bottom right); pressure relief and target tanks (bottom left).

Impact and Ballistic Capabilities

The Impact Testing and Multiscale Characterization Laboratory of Virginia Tech Professor Dr. Linbing Wang contains a light gas gun for impact and ballistic experiments. The single stage launch system consists of an 18 ft (5.5 m) long 3.15 in (80 mm) diameter barrel designed for planar impact experiments. Using compressed He gas, the double diaphragm firing system can reliably accelerate 1.5 lb (700 g) payloads in excess of 3,300 ft/s (1000 m/s) in a safe and repeatable manner. At these velocities, cementitious, ceramic, metallic, geological, textile, and soft media can be subjected to impact pressures many thousands of times the pressure of air at the surface of the Earth. Experiment packages can be fired upon by a range of projectiles whose shape, velocity, and material hardness can be tuned to precisely attain the desired impact characteristics. Controlled environment impact tests under high or low temperature and specific magnetic field conditions can also be accommodated. Experimental diagnostics consist of optical projectile velocity measurement, high speed data acquisition systems, and Cordin 350 high speed camera (up to 1 million frames per second, with a total of 16 frames).

Partner with us

Whether you’re interested in sponsoring a research project, accessing the gas gun facility, or exploring collaborative opportunities, we are here to help. Contact Dr. Jacques to discuss partnerning with us.