US 3513778 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1970 R. w. HEINEMANN 3,513,778
SELF-STERILIZING FUZE Filed Feb. 9, 1968 INVENTOR.
ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofice 3,513,778 Patented May 26, 1970 3,513,778 SELF-STERILIZING FUZE Robert W. Heinemann, Dover, N.J., assignor to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army Filed Feb. 9, 1968, Ser. No. 707,376 Int. Cl. F42c 3/00, 9/00, 9/08 US. Cl. 102-70 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a device for use in the selfsterilization of a mine.
Military success of an offensive activity within a specified sector of a battlefield ultimately requires mobility of forces which dictates movement within the area. It is therefore a military requirement of the opposing forces to impede or hinder this movement ultimately affecting the mobility of the enemy. In modern times this is accomplished within the specified sector by the mass sowing of items of destruction such as mines and the like. After a time, however, in order for the friendly or opposing forces to have access and mobility of their own within the sector, there must be provision for the deactivation of such items of destruction in a comparatively safe manner in contradistinction of their designed use of destruction. In the past, there were numerous mechanical adaptations placed on mines for the express purpose of sterilization but none of these expedients were acceptable due to a loss of reliability of the mine, or clumsiness of construction of the sterilizing device itself.
The subject invention answers the needs of the art as described above by providing a simple chemically-actuated device for use in the sterilization of items of destruction such as mines and the like over a predetermined period of time in a relatively safe and reliable manner.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a device for use in the self sterilization of a mine and the like.
Another object is to provide such a device which is simple in construction, low in cost, and facile in maintenance and use under a wide variety of service conditions.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be more readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description and drawings, wherein:
The figure is a side view, in section, of the device of this invention.
The device of this invention, as shown in the figure, is provided with a spring-loaded firing pin 11 adapted for engagement with an initiator 12. An annular ring 13 composed of a solidified deliquescent mass circumscribes the area intermediate the firing pin 11 and the initiator 12. The deliquescent mass 13 is adapted to absorb moisture out of the air through defined channels or inlets provided in the mass itself. The size of the channels control the sterilization time. Upon the absorption of moisture, ring 13 will liquify and expand over a predetermined period of time into a fluidized cement. Such fluid upon expansion will then be directed by means of an inner channel 14 to the area, intermediate the firing pin and initiator, where it will be deposited. After a predetermined dura tion, the fluidized cement will harden into a solidified mass. This will prevent the firing pin from moving in the direction of the initiator by creating an obstacle to such movement thereby sterilizing the mine.
The annular deliquescent mass may be composed of a multilayer pellet or mixed with other ingredients to accomplish the design requirements.
The process of sterilization begins when the air enters the channels and reacts with the deliquescent solid which pulls the moisture out of the air. As a result of this reaction, the pellet is liquified and such liquid enters the cavity between the firing pin and the initiator through the defined channels 14. The deliquescent material 13 may contain a hardening material such as the oxide or hydroxide of calcium or magnesium. In such case, the liquefaction of the hydroscope pellet 13 will dissolve the hardening agents mentioned and the resulting fluid will be directed into the cavity between the firing pin and the initiator. The carbon dioxide in the air will then convert the liquefied setting agent into a solid obstruction thereby preventing the firing pin from moving in the direction of the initiator. It is further possible to encapsulate the solidified hydroscopic mass in a plastic or other impervious material with a defined number of holes to control the sterilization time. It is also possible to incorporate a variety of binders such as stearic acid or calcium resinate in order to achieve structural integrity of the hydroscopic mass 13 when in the dry state.
The deliquescent material which may be utilized in this invention include acids, base, or neutral materials. Thus, calcium chloride, lithium chloride, a magnesium chloride may be utilized in this invention as relatively neutral salts. The acidic type materials which may be used to advantage in this invention are numerous and include trichloroacetic, o bromobenzenesulfonic, p chlorobenzenesulfonic, 2- naphthalenesulfonic, and o-toluenesulfonic. The basic materials which may be used to advantage include sodium or potassium hydroxide.
Obviously, there are many modifications and variations of the present invention which are possible in light of the above teaching. One of the advantages of this invention lies in the simplicity and low cost of this type of fuze component system. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as described.
1. In a fuze having a spring-loaded firing pin for engagement with an initiator, the improvement of an annular ring circumscribing the area intermediate said firing pin and said initiator, said ring composed of a solidified deliquescent mass containing a hardening agent chemically convertible to a fluid for deposition and set-up as a solid in the area intermediate said firing pin and said initiator.
2. The fuze of claim 1 wherein said ring consists of a deliquescent mass having dispersed therein a hardening agent selected from the group consisting of magnesium oxide, magnesium hydroxide, calcium oxide, and calcium hydroxide. i
3. The fuze of claim 2 whereinv said hardening agent is an oxide of magnesium.
4. The fuze of claim 2 wherein said hardening agent is magnesium hydroxide.
5. The fuze of claim 2 wherein said hardening agent 5 11/1909 Larsen 102-10 7/1955 MacAdams 10270 BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner T. H. WEBB, Assistant Examiner