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Plasma Thermal Gun (Paper Plans)

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Product Description

The PPRO1 Plasma Thermal Gun utilizes the electrothermal energy obtained from vaporizing a metallic material, creating a pressure wave of sufficient magnitude to cause a projectile to accelerate to ballistic velocities.

The system shown on our data is a relatively low velocity device within the building capability of most hobbyists. The project may be scaled up for serious research with an obvious increase in high voltage handling and ballistic hazards. The project requires experience in the handling of high-voltage, high-energy devices.

Operation requires a high-energy pulser such as our HEP50, which is shown using a 5kV Capacitor Bank. These values may be altered within limits to allow the use of available capacitors that you may have on hand.

An energy-storage capacitor is charged from a programmable, controlled current source to a selected high voltage. This capacitor is switched by a triggered spark gap, dumping all the stored energy into a small-volume explosion chamber and vaporizing a thin, aluminum wire placed inside the chamber. A pressure wave forces a projectile out of the barrel to a high velocity.

These are paper plans, requiring parts and assembly (also available as downloadable plans for roughly half the price).


The Plasma Thermal Gun requires a power supply/charger and trigger, such as our HEP50 Pulser/Ignitor or similar (which includes our 5kV Capacitor Bank to store the ignition energy).

capacitor bank


This project is suitable for a science class demonstration if properly supervised with qualified personnel.

Note that these plans include instructions for building the HEP50 High Energy Pulser, and also plans for all modules such as the Plasma Thermal Gun, Mass Launcher, Wire Exploder and Can Crusher.

Gun Assembly Parts Fabricated by Builder from Readily Available Materials.

This system as sold will require proper enclosures and must be installed by qualified personnel if used for public demonstrations and displays.

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