What is Coilgun: Definition and 14 Discussions

A coilgun, also known as a Gauss rifle, is a type of mass driver consisting of one or more coils used as electromagnets in the configuration of a linear motor that accelerate a ferromagnetic or conducting projectile to high velocity. In almost all coilgun configurations, the coils and the gun barrel are arranged on a common axis. A coilgun is not a rifle as the barrel is smoothbore (not rifled). The name "Gauss" is in reference to Carl Friedrich Gauss, who formulated mathematical descriptions of the magnetic effect used by magnetic accelerator cannons.
Coilguns generally consist of one or more coils arranged along a barrel, so the path of the accelerating projectile lies along the central axis of the coils. The coils are switched on and off in a precisely timed sequence, causing the projectile to be accelerated quickly along the barrel via magnetic forces. Coilguns are distinct from railguns, as the direction of acceleration in a railgun is at right angles to the central axis of the current loop formed by the conducting rails. In addition, railguns usually require the use of sliding contacts to pass a large current through the projectile or sabot but coilguns do not necessarily require sliding contacts. While some simple coilgun concepts can use ferromagnetic projectiles or even permanent magnet projectiles, most designs for high velocities actually incorporate a coupled coil as part of the projectile.

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  1. O

    Solve Coilgun Inefficiency & Measure Projectile Speed France

    Hi, I've built a coilgun using a solenoid, but my projectile stops at the half of the road, but this way i can't measure neither the acceleration nor the speed. what could be wrong ? how to push it further ? I also have a question about the efficient methods to measure the speed of the...
  2. C

    EMF generated by solenoid around hollow Iron core?

    I'm currently in conceptual phase of designing a coil gun. Thinking back to my physics 2 class-- and some of my independent studies-- I understand an EMF produced by a solenoid with current through the wires of it is strengthened significantly by a ferrous core, as seen by the classic experiment...
  3. Alexander Stroborg

    Can a 400V 2200µF capacitor propel 0.5g through a rail gun?

    I am planning to conduct an academic experiment involving an electromagnetic projectile. I originally planned to build a rail gun powered by a 400V 2200µF capacitor, I've read a lot of discussions that say rail guns require a tremendous amount of current. Is this capacitor sufficient to propel...
  4. T

    Linear Induction Coilgun with superconducting projectile

    If you have: A Linear Induction Coilgun, basically like a series of Induction Furnaces, using copper coils with high AC current at a high frequency. Where the projectile traveling inside those coils has a shorted superconducting coil around the outside of it, embedded in the ceramic projectile...
  5. P

    Coilgun capacitor charging circuit questions

    I've been making coil guns out of a disposable camera's flash circuit recently, and when experimenting with the capacitors themselves I've come across some things I can't explain, so I hope someone else can. 1. SOLVED: My mistake (In order to make my experiments easier, in place of the...
  6. jlefevre76

    Understanding the Physics of a Coilgun: A Beginner's Guide

    Hey, I've seen a few posts on this without any responses I really thought helped (at least help answer my question). So, I was hoping somebody on the forums here could help walk me through the basic physics of a coilgun. Basically, how could you characterize the magnetic field inside the...
  7. P

    Coilgun with car audio capacitors

    Hi guys, I'm new to this forum and I just started working on my first coilgun. I've watched several tutorials on how to build a coilgun but all the capacitors they use in the coilguns are electrolytic capacitors. The capacitors don't deliver as much energy as the car audio capacitors. I'm...
  8. E

    Ship Mounted Coilgun Measurements

    In the story I am currently working on, a weapon commonly used on ships is a sort of coilgun. I want to create a ratings system for these coilguns and want to know the range of ampule-turns that would be used in large coilguns (barrel diameters range from six inches to two feet).
  9. S

    Building a Coilgun for Shooting Steel Spheres: Need Help!

    Hey guys! Not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but this seemed the most relevant... So I'm working on a coilgun to shoot 45mm steel spheres, but I need to figure out how long [diameter, gauge, etc] my coil needs to be. I want to generate a force of about 5 Joules or more...
  10. H

    Coilgun Design: Troubleshooting, Current & Coil Specs

    I am creating a coil gun using a capacitor bank consisting of 3 470uF capacitors rated for 500V. They charge to about 250V using a Cockroft -Walton voltage multiplier. A switch controls the amount the capacitors are charged and a voltmeter gives and accurate reading of the current voltage of...
  11. D

    Constructing a Home-Made Single Stage Coilgun

    Hi I have some doubts regarding the construction of a home-made single stage coilgun, I'm using a plastic tube(the way the object will travle through),an iron sphere(the object to be accelerated), and 8 cylindrical iron coils distributed equally on the end of the tube. The tube has 2 inchs...
  12. R

    New Coil Gun Design: Seeking Input on Improved Design

    I have a new coil gun design I want to build I would like some input on. The first change in design is the coil design. I want to take a solid copper rod and machine it into a coil with one solid band that wraps around a hollow core. You can get a magnetic field up to 40t this way which is...
  13. K

    Why Won't My Coilgun Charge? Troubleshooting Tips for Aspiring Physicists

    Hello, I am a Grade 11 student and for a Physics project I am constructing a Coilgun. I've done quite a bit of research into actually building the Coilgun, but when it came time to charge it, it refuses to charge. I've used, 1.5V, 9V, a 12V Car Battery, and none of them will charge the...
  14. A

    Creating a Coilgun Project Using a Puck-Style SCR

    I have a puck-style SCR with a cathode, anode and gate. I'm planning on using it to dump two series capacitors (450v + 450v) into a coil for a "coilgun" project. I understand that the SCR is triggered when a circuit is completed through the gate and anode using, for example, a battery and a...