Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS1404653 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 24, 1922
Filing dateOct 7, 1920
Priority dateOct 7, 1920
Publication numberUS 1404653 A, US 1404653A, US-A-1404653, US1404653 A, US1404653A
InventorsLouis S Ross
Original AssigneeCentral Railway Signal Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Composition for railway signal torpedoes
US 1404653 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

UNITED STATES arent ossica.




To all whom it may concern: V Be it known that I, LOUIS S. Ross, a citizen of the United States residing at Newtonville, in the county of" Middlesex and State of Massachusetts, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Compositions for Railway following is a specification. v

This invention relates to improvements in compositions for railway signal torpedoes, and is for use in torpedoes that are suitably attached to the head of a railroad rail to be exploded by the wheel of the locomotive for giving a signalto the engineer, as is well understood'by those skilled in this art.

It is well-known to those skilled inthis art that the explosive for railway signal torpedoes is made either in the form of a loose powder or a molded tablet, and my improved composition is adapted to be used in either of the above' forms, or partly tablet and partly'loose powder, as will be pointed out hereinafter.

The primary objects of my improved composition for railway signal torpedoes are- 1. To produce a louder detonation for a given quantity. of composition, whereby the amount of composition used may be reduced,

thus effecting economy in the manufacture,

torpedo, and; would be of value to the train tions now in use.

and at the same time to enable a smaller torpedo to be used, which among other advantages, is less liable to be pushed from the track, by the locomotive wheel than a larger men because of the reduced size, enabling a greater number to be carried in a given space. 2. Toaadd to the saftey in the manufacture sensitiveness ofv previous torpedo compositions to friction and spontaneous ignition, which are present in the torpedo composi- 3. To produce a railway signal torpedo composition, which adds a signal flash to the signal detonation, whereby the engineer may see as well as hear the explosion of the torpedo which takes place the'instant it is struck by the en ine. y

y improved composition which involves all the foregoing objects is composed of perchlorate, aluminum, sulphur, barium nitrate,

sand or sharp flint; and when made in tablet form dextrine is added as a binder. If, .how-

Signal Torpedoes, of which the pilot wheels at the front end of the Specification of Letterslatent. Patnted an. 24, 1922. Application filed October 7, 1920. Serial No. 415,264.

"ever, the composition is to be used in powder form dextrine is omitted, and in either form of the composition'the sand or flint may be omitted if desired.

" In practice, I haveused the foregoing ingredients in substantially the following proportions:

The foregoing proportions of the several parts may be widely varied either way without departing fromthe spirit and scope of my present invention.

The foregoing composition can'be made to give a more brilliant flash, but at somewhat more expense, by the addition of magnesium, and also magnesium can be substituted entirely for the aluminum.

This composition may be manufactured as a moulded plastic without the aluminum or magnesium, or both, and then the desired amount of either aluminum or magnesium,

or both, added as a loose binder in the case or envelope containing the explosive composition.

Furthermore, barium nitrate may be omitted, but I find that better results are obtained by its use than without it.

The perchlorate adds to .the safety of the manufacture of the torpedo and safety in the storage of the torpedoes and at the same time adds to the sharpness of its detonation.

The function of the aluminum or magnesium, or both, is primarily twofold. One

to furnish a flash and the other to cause a thermite reaction, causing a violent combining with the oxygen of the composition, thus adding to the violence of the detonation. The aluminum or magnesium, or both, rapidly extracts the oxygen from the other chemicals of the compound so that the violence of their action adds to the sharpness and loudness of the detonation.

It may be added here that the perchlorate in this compositionincreases the thermite effect, and thereby adds also to the sharpness and violence of the detonation.

The barium in this composition not only imparts insensitiveness, but also furnishes additional oxygen to be extracted by the aluminum or magnesium, or both. It' allows the last-mentioned chemicals to do more Work by rapid extraction of the oxygen, and this adds to the flash as well as the detonation.

Aluminum, I find, is a better extractor of oxygen than magnesium, and it is also cheaper and, therefore, under ordinary conditions, preferable to the use of magnesium.

I desire it to be understood that where a flash is notdesired the aluminum, or magnesium, or both, may be omitted from the composition, and in this event, the remaining ingredients produce a composition having the advantages of louder detonation and combined in substantially the proportions specified for producing a torpedo with inducing a sharp flash detonation, and a composition which is not subject to spontaneous ignition.

3. An improved explosive composition for railway signal torpedoes, comprising sulphur one part,- aluminum one and threefourths parts, barium nitrate one part and perchlorate two parts, combined in substantially the proportions specified, producing a composition with a sharp flash detonation and which is not subject to spontaneous ignition.

r 4. An improved composition for railway signal torpedoes, comprising a perchlorate and barium nitrate combined for the purpose described.

In testimony whereofI hereunto aflix my signature.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2451864 *May 15, 1945Oct 19, 1948O'brien Daniel PExplosives
US3508518 *May 27, 1968Apr 28, 1970Dow Chemical CoCombination night-day signaling device
US4307665 *Jun 15, 1967Dec 29, 1981General Dynamics CorporationDecoy rounds
US4355577 *Aug 25, 1980Oct 26, 1982Ady Michael SModel rocket propulsion system
U.S. Classification149/41, 149/42, 149/70
International ClassificationC06B29/12
Cooperative ClassificationC06B29/12
European ClassificationC06B29/12