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Патент USA US3019742

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Feb. 6, 1962
Filed Oct. 21, 1958
Patented Feb° 6, 1&6‘52
Calcium silicate (CaO-SiO3)
Cerium bioxide (CeOQ)
Alfred Kaspanl, Stamford, Conn, assignor to Brevets
Cadmium sulphide (CdS)
Cadmium selenide (CdSe)
Aero-Mecaniqnes S.A., Geneva, Switzerland, a society
Antimony sesquisulphide (Sb2S'3)
Aluminum antimony (Al-Sb)
Gallium antimony (Ga-Sb)
of Switzerland
Filed Get. Zll, E553, Ser. No. 768,634
Claims priority, application Luxembourg Get. 29, 1957
4 Claims. (Cl. 102-438)
Uranium bioxide (U02)
The present invention relates to electrical primers and 10
it is more especially, but not exclusively, concerned with
primers for setting oii’ a propelling charge or bursting
Cadmium oxisulphide (CdS-CdO)
Cadmium oxiselenide (CdSe-CdO)
Advantageously, the semi-conductor material is in the
form of a thin ?lm or layer 4 at least a small area of
which (for instance averaging a fraction of a square
The chief object of this invention is to provide a primer
device of this le'nd which is better adapted to meet the 15 millimeter) has one of its faces in contact with one elec
trode, the other of said’faces being in contact with the
requirements of practice than those used up to the pres
other electrode. The thickness of the layer of semi
ent time and, in particular, which is easier to be checked
conductor material thus inserted between the electrodes
up and less sensitive to stray currents.
will be determined experimentally in every case so as to
A primer device according to this invention includes
a sensitive charge and two electrodes adapted to be 20 obtain the desired result. In the particular case where
the voltage supplied by the source is close to 100 volts
connected with the two terminals respectively of a source
of electric voltage and it is characterized by the fact of
interposing, between these electrodes and in contact with
said charge, a body or" a semi-conductor material, said
body being so chosen and dimensioned that the ?ow of
current therethrough produces therein a spark capable
of igniting said charge.
The term “semi-conductor material” is used in the
present application to designate a solid body having a
crystallized structure, which is an insulator at tempera
tures close to the absolute zero but which, at higher
temperatures, either has an electronic conductivity that
can be easily detected or acquires such a conductivity
(capacity averaging 2 at), satisfactory results have been
obtained with a thickness averaging 1 micron.
The ?lm 4- of semi-conductor material is advantage
ously deposited by the known method of evaporation
under a high vacuum which makes it possible to obtain
a layer of accurate and regular thickness owing to the
measurement of the amount of material to be evaporated
and to the control of the time of action of the jets of
vapour during the evaporation of the semi-conductor
According to one advantageous embodiment of the
invention, one of the electrodes (2) is in the form of an
axial rod the upper end of which has a very small area
structure, or again can be made conductive, for instance 35 (for instance less than 0.2 mm.2). This electrode is
supported by an insulating ?ller 6 (for instance of a
when it is subjected to an external in?uence.
ceramic material or a synthetic resin) suitably chosen
These semi-conductor materials are characterized in
so that layer 4 can be deposited in good condition upon
that at least within some ranges of temperature their
?at upper surface which is at the same level as the
resistance decreases when the temperature rises, in op
position to what takes place in the case of metallic 4:0 top end of electrode 2. This insulating material is packed
in a cylindrical sleeve 3 made of a conductor material
which constitutes the second electrode. This sleeve 3
Preferred embodiments of the present invention will
disposed coaxially with electrode 2. In the particular
be hereinafter described with reference to the accompany
under the effect of a disturbance of its ideal crystallized
ing drawing, given merely by way of example and in
FIGS. 1 and 2 of this drawing show, in axial section,
two electric primer devices made according to diiierent
embodiments of the present invention.
The primer device shown by the drawing includes a
source of electric voltage in the form of a condenser 1
case above referred to, the inner diameter of sleeve 3
was 8 mm.
Of course, means must be provided for feeding current
from sleeve 3 to the portion of the upper surface of ?lm
4 located opposite the portion of the under surface of
said ?lm 4 that is in contact with the ‘top end of electrode
2. Such means must be such that the heat of the spark
50 produced in ?lm 4 between these two surface portions
adapted to be charged in advance.
is transmitted directly to the primary charge 5 which
The primer device, according to the invention, essen
Is supposed to be disposed above ?lm it.
tially includes two metal electrodes 2 and 3 adapted to
in the construction of FIG. 1, the whole upper surface
be connected respectively to the two terminals of con
of ?lm 4 is covered by a thin conductor layer 7 in electric
denser 1 and, interposed between these electrodes, an
element it of a semi-conductor material chosen and di 55 contact at least over a portion of its edges with the inner
mensioned in such manner that the ?ow of electric cur
rent’ from said condenser l and through said electrodes
2 and 3 produces in element 4 a spark capable of setting
off a sensitive charge 5 placed in contact with said ele
ment 4.
Advantageously, according to this invention, the semi
surface of sleeve 3, this layer 7 being advantagesously
deposited by evaporation under a high vacuum, as above
described with reference to film 4.
Advantageously, layer 7 is made of a suitable metal
60 capable of being evaporated in a vacuum, preferably at
a temperature higher than that of the semiconductor ma~
conductor is either a metalloid or an anhydride of a
terial that has been previously disposed on the insulator 6.
metalloid having a relatively low melting point and
Indium is a particularly advantageous metal to constitute
preferably a boiling point such that it can be evaporated
layer 7, due to itslrelatively low melting point (156° C.)
under vacuum. For instance, this element consists of 65 and to its high boiling point (above 1,400° C.). Further
selenium (Se), germanium (Ge), vanadium pentoxide
(V205) or silicon monoxide (SiO).
Other bodies may be used, for instance:
Silicon (Si)
Silicon bioxide~or silica-($02)
Silicon sesquioxide (SiO-SiO2)
more, it can easily be eva‘~orated under a vacuum.
metal has, with respect to atmospheric agents, qualities
of stability comparable to that of silver, the melting point
70 of which is six times higher. Furthermore, indium is a
ductile metal. it deposits, by evaporation, in a granular
form but very adhesive to ?lm 4.
Anyway, it is ‘advantageous to provide, above layer 7,
a ring 8 made of a conductive material which is forced
electrodes to complete a circuit between the two electrodes
to allow an electric charge of said predetermined potential
into sleeve 3. This ring, which is tightly applied against
to penetrate therethrough and ignite said sensitive primary
layer ‘7, ensures a good electric contact between sleeve
3 and layer 7. The inside of said ring may constitute a
predetermined potential.
charge and to dissipate an electric charge of less than said
2‘. An electric primer device adapted to be ?red by a
housing for the primary charge 5 which is suitably com
?ow of electrical current from a source of electrical volt
age comprising in combination a sensitive primary charge,
two electrodes, one of said two electrodes comprising the
it will be readily understood that with such an arrange
ment, a small central portion of ?lm 4 is inserted between
the two electrodes and the spark will thus be produced in 10 outer metal surface of the primer device and parallel to
the second of said two electrodes, said second electrode
this portion of ?ln1'4, which spark will pass through layer
being located axially of said ?rst electrode, a plastic in
"7, if the thickness thereof is suitably chosen, and will set
' sulating material disposed around said second electrode,
oil charge 5.
both electrodes adapted to be connected to a voltage
For practical purposes, the thickness of layer 7 may be
source, a semi-conductive material, said material being
very small. It will be chosen suf?cient to permit the pas
selected from the group consisting of Se, Ge, V205, SiO,
sage therethroughllof the "currents which is to produce
the ignition spark in the semi-conductor material. A layer
Si, SiO2, SiO-SiO2, C-aO-SiO2, C602, C618, CdSe, Sb2S3,
of indium having a thickness ranging from V2 micron to 1
Al-Sh, Ga-Sb, U03, CdS-CdO, CdSe-CdO, a base conduc
tive layer supporting said semi-conductive material, said
micron gave good results.’
i .
According to the embodiment of FIG. 2, sleeve 3 car 20 base conductive layer eing electrically connected with
said ?rst electrode and said second electrode whereby an
ries a ?nger 9‘ of a conductor material extending radially
electric charge of su?icient potential can penetrate the r
and the end of which is in contact with the portion of ?lm
4 located above the upper end of electrode 2. Charge ' semi-conductive material‘and base material and ignite
said sensitive charged primary.
5 is then compressed directly ‘above ?lm 4 and ?nger 9.
3. An electrical primer device adapted to be ?red by
It Will be understood that in this case the spark that is 25
a ?ow of electric current from a source of electrical volt
produced in ?lm '4, between the end of ?nger 9 and the .
age comprising in combination a sensitive primary charge,
axial electrode 2, can directly set off the primary charge 5.
The primer device above described is very simple to
two electrodes, said electrodes adapted to be connected to
a voltage source, the ?rst said electrode forming the outer
manufacture and it gives very constant results due, in
particular, to the possibilities given by the semi-conductor
materials of accurately adjusting the sensitiveness thereof.
casing of the primer device, a semi-conductor layer, said
material being selected from the group consisting of Se,
Furthermore, such primer devices have an electrical
Ge, V205, SiO, Si, SiO2, SiO-SiO2, CaO-SiO2, Ce02, CdS,
resistance that can be easily measured, which is interest
CdSe,' Sb2S3, Al-Sb, Ga-Sb, U02, CdS-CdO, CdSe-CdO,
ing for checking up purposes. Such a checking up can 35 a conductive material supporting said semi-conductor
layer, the combination of said semi-conductor and conduc
be effected by passing through the device a current under
a voltage lower than the limit voltage which would pro
tive material being attached to the periphery of said ?rst
electrode casing and located such that an electric charge
duce the electric spark.
of sufficient potential from the second of said two elec
By way of example, it will be indicated that this limit
voltage is only 30 volts in the case of an indium layer 1 40 trodes can penetrate the semi-conductive material and
base material and ignite said sensitive charged primary.
micron thick and of a layer of SiO-Si02 0.5 micron thick.
4. An electrical primer device adapted to be ?red by’
As a matter of fact, the initial electrical resistance of
the primer device, before the explosive charge is in place,
is generally high. But after said charge has been placed
the flow of electric current from a source of electrical
voltage comprising in combination a sensitive primary
charge, two electrodes, said electrodes adapted to be at
45 tached to an electric voltage of predetermined potential,
greatly reduced and becomes easy to measure.
Finally, such primer devices are very little sensitive to
one of said electrodes forming the outer casing of the
stray currents due to static or friction electricity, which
primer device, a semi-conductor material, said material
currents can be discharged by passing, without producing
being selected from the group consisting of Se, Ge, V205,
and compressed on ?lm 4, the electrical resistance is
a spark, through the semi-conductor material.
SiO, Si, SiO2, SiO-SiO2, CaO-SiOZ, 0e02, CdS, CdSe,
812283, Al-Sb, Ga-Sb, U02, CdS-CdO, CdSe-CdO, said
The manufacture of such primer devices is easy, their
mechanical rigidity is satisfactory and there is no diffi
culty in complying with the tolerances during their manu
material being attached to said ?rst electrode and located
such that an electric charge of su?icient potential from
In a general manner, while'I have, in the above descrip 55 the second of said two electrodes can penetrate the semi
conductive material to ignite ‘said sensitive charged pri
tion, disclosed what I deem to be practical and el?cient
mary, an annular conductance ring, said ring encasing said
embodiments of my invention, it should be well under
primary charge and maintaining positive electrical con
stood that I do not wish to be limited thereto as there
tact between said ?rst electrode and said semi-conductive
might be changes made in the'arrangement, disposition
and form of the parts without departing from the principle
of the present invention as comprehended within the scope
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
of the accompanying claims.
What I claim is:
1. An electric primer adapted to be ?red by a ?ow of
. 319,627
Russell _______________ __ June 9, 1885
electrical current from a source of electrical voltage which 65
Russell '_ ______________ __ June 9, 1885
comprises in combination, a sensitive primary charge
adapted to be exploded by an electrical discharge of pre
determined high potential, two electrodes disposed ad
jacent to said sensitive charge, both electrodes adapted to
be connected with a source of electrical energy, a semi
conductive material, said material being selected from the
group consisting of Se, Ge, V205, SiO, Si, SiO2, SiO-SiO2,
Kisfaludy ____________ __ Nov. 19, 1935
Colbert ______________ __ Apr. 20, 1954
Sheehan ______________ __ Dec. 7, 1954
Smits ________ __'.____'___ May 24, 1955
MacLeod ____________ __ July 17, 1956
MacLeod ____________ __ Sept. 11, 1956
France ______________ __ Jan. 31, 1951
CaO-SiO2, CeOZ, CdS, CdSe, Sb2S3, Al-Sb, Ga-Sb, U02,
CdS-CdO, CdSe-CdO, said semi-conductive material abut
ting said sensitive charge and electrically coupled with said 75
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