US 3170365 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 23, 1965 R. M. VAUGHN EXPLOSIVE WASHER Filed Aug. 23, 1962 INVENTOR. RUDOLPH M. VAUGHN United States, Patent 3,l7tl,365 EXPLUSWE WASHER Rudolph M. Vaughn, 611 Lido Park Drive, Newport Beach, Calif. Filed Aug. 23, 1962, Ser. No. 218,974 1 Claim. (Cl. 85-50) This invention relates broadly to explosive means for separating members and more particularly to a novel explosive washer for use with bolts employed to fasten first and second members together for separating the members at a predetermined time.
Explosive means for separating members such as successive stages in missiles are well known in the art. Generally, these devices are referred to as explosive bolts and comprise a combination fastening device in the form of a bolt incorporating some type of explosive means. At a pre-determined time, the bolt may be destroyed by the explosive. thereby enabling separation of the members.
In the case of such explosive bolts, the bolt itself must include hollow portions to incorporate a suitable explosive. Thus, the integrity of the bolt as a fastening device is compromised. In other words, if the bolt is designed to rupture, it cannot serve its function as a fastening device as well as a conventional bolt.
To avoid weakening of the bolt of the above type beyond a certain tolerance, it is common practice to make the hollow portions relatively small in volume. As a result, the explosive employed must be highly sensitive to provide sufiicient power to rupture the bolt. The explosives used, accordingly, are dangerous compared to conventional explosives.
In addition to the foregoing, the bolts themselves are relatively expensive since they must be tailored to incorporate suitable explosive material. Thus, in any situation in which two members are rigidly held together by conventional type screws or bolts and it is desired to incorporate explosive bolts, the members may have to be modified to accommodate the particular type of explosive bolts available.
With all of the foregoing considerations in mind, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a novel explosive means for enabling separation of members secured together.
More particularly, it is an object to provide a novel explosive means for performing an identical function to that of an explosive bolt but in which the means such as a bolt employed for fastening members together to be ultimately separated may be of a conventional type and thus its strength in no manner weakened as a consequence of its ultimate destruction by the explosive means.
Another object is to provide an explosive structure meeting the foregoing ends in which less sensitive explosive material may be employed for a given explosive force than has been required in conventional type explosive bolts to the end that greater safety in handling of the ex plosive structure is realizable.
Still another important object of this invention is to provide an explosive structure adaptable to conventional type bolts.
Another object is to provide an explosive means which is considerably more economical to manufacture than conventional exploding type bolts.
Briefly, these and many other objects and advantages of this invention are attained by providing an explosive washer rather than an explosive bolt. This washer constitutes an annular hollow member incorporating explosive material and having a central opening to receive a bolt in the manner of a conventional washer. The washer may be positioned between one of the members and the bolt head or between one of the members and a nut receivable on the end of the bolt shank. In either event, the explosive incorporated Within the washer may be of any desired amount snfiicient to destroy the bolt and effect separation of the members.
By the foregoing arrangement, the bolt itself need not be tampered with and may constitute a conventional bolt of solid material so that the desired holding strength is realized. On the other hand, because the explosive structure constitutes a separate item such as the washer, it is readily adaptable to many different types of bolts and may also be provided considerably more economically than conventional exploding bolts.
A better understanding of the invention will be had by now referring to a preferred embodiment thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is an elevational view partly cut away illustrating a conventional bolt for securing together first and second members with the explosive washer of this invention; and,
FIGURE 2 is a cut-away exploded perspective view of the basic elements making up the explosive washer illustrated in FIGURE 1.
Referring first to FIGURE 1, there are illustrated first and second members ill and ll secured together by a conventional type bolt 12. As shown, the bolt 12 passes through aligned openings in the members Ill and Ill and receives a nut 13 at one end. The bolt includes an enlarged head 14 at its other end which ordinarily would abut against the periphery of the opening in the member ll. However, in accordance with the present invention, the equivalent of an explosive bolt is provided by in corporating an explosive washer-like member 15 between the head 14 and the member ll. It should be understood that the Washer 15 could be positioned between the member 10 and the nut 13 if desired or even between the members 10 and 11. Regardless of the particular placement, the washer 15 is designed, in accordance with the present invention, to completely destroy the bolt 12 and thus separate the members ill and H at a pre-determined time. Towards this end, there are provided detonating means in the form of lead wires 16 extending from the explosive washer 15 for receiving an electrical det-onating signal at the time it is desired to separate the members.
Referring now to the exploded view of FIGURE 2, the details of the exploded washer of this invention are illustrated. As shown, the Washer constitutes an annular member made up of a cylindrical casing 17. This casing includes a central opening 18 for receiving the bolt, and inner and outer radially spaced annular grooves 19 and 20. Also included is a central annular V-ohaped channel 21 having sloping walls 22 and 23 terminating in a lower apex 24. Explosive material such as a shaped charge 25 is incorporated in the V-shaped channel 21. The detonating wires 16 as shown extend into the explosive material.
The washer member also includes a cover 25 having a central opening 27 adapted to register with the open ing 18 when assembled on top of the casing 17. As shown, the cover 25 includes inner and outer annular flanges 2S and 2? extending normally downwardly from the cover 26 and radially spaced from each other in positions to be received and secured within the inner and outer annular grooves 19 and 20 of the casing 17, respectively. The fitting of the flanges 2% and 29 within the grooves 19 and 20 may be forced so that once the cover 26 is placed over the casing 17, the explosive material in the form of the shaped charge 25 is securely confined within the washer structure. There thus results a conveniently useable washer which may receive any type of screw or fastening device through its central open- Patented Feb. 23, 1965- e3 ing and be employed in the manner illustrated in FIG- URE 1.
In operation, when it is desired to separate first and second members such as the members it and 11, an electrical signal is applied to the leads 16 which will detonate the shaped charge 25. The explosive force will be directed normally from the surface blowing the cover 26 from the washer and completely destroying the bolt head and portion of the bolt securing the members together. In the event the washer were incorporated under the nut 13, the action of the explosion would be such as to blow the nut from the end of the bolt.
It will be evident that as a consequence of using a separable explosive washer, the integrity of the bolt itself is not affected since no interior hollow portions need be made therein to incorporate explosive material. Further, since the only function of the washer is to hold the explosive material, a relatively large amount of explosive material may be provided so that less sensitive explosives may be used to effect the same explosive force as is possible with conventional type explosive bolts. As a consequence, the washer is safer to handle than explosive type bolts incorporating more sensitive explosive material.
Finally, it will be clear that the washer may be used with any conventional type bolt and nut so that no modification of existing equipment is necessary to provide an explosive separation means.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been set forth and described, the explosive washer is not to be thought of as limited to specific details set forth merely for illustrative purposes.
What is claimed is:
An explosive washer for separating first and second members held together by a bolt comprising, in combination: a cylindrical casing having a central opening through which said bolt may loosely pass, said casing including radially spaced inner and outer anular grooves and a central annular channel of substantially V-shape in cross-section disposed radially between said inner and outer annular grooves; an explosive charge filling said channel; a circular shaped cover member having a central opening adapted to register with said first mentioned central opening and including radially spaced inner and outer annular flanges extending normally from said cover in positions to be received and secured within said inner and outer annular grooves of said casing, respectively, to confine said explosive charge in said central annular channel; and detonating wire means extending from said explosive charge through said casing to the exterior thereof for detonating said charge after said washer has been positioned about said bolt whereby said bolt is destroyed to separate said members.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,046,949 7/36 Horner.
2,871,750 2/59 Parrish.
2,883,910 4/59 Nessler 891.01 X 2,960,902 11/60 De Caro.
EDWARD C. ALLEN, Primary Examiner.
ARTHUP M. HORTON, Examiner.