Progress

  • Apr 2017 – LIEF grant application submitted
  • Nov 2017 – LIEF grant awarded
  • Feb 2018 – Mechanical technologist appointed to begin mechanical design
  • Discounted various design concepts:
    • Horizontal swinging arm clutch coupled to flywheel – mechanically very complex & large footprint
    • Linear motor with capacitor bank energy storage- technically viable but cost prohibitive ($2M-$3M)
    • Friction coupled multiple flywheel – prototyped, worked, but challenges around wear surfaces, dynamics and projectile braking.
  • Sept 2018 – Settled on pneumatic cannon approach. Detailed mechanical design commenced
  • Oct 2018 – Instrumentation technologist appointed to design the control system and instrumentation
  • Apr 2019 – Contract awarded for manufacture of cannon assembly
  • Jul 2019 – Crush tube braking design finalised
  • Aug 2019 – Cannon delivery delayed due to barrel being damaged during manufacture. Remanufacture and electroless nickel plating underway.
  • Aug 2019 – Projectile mechanical design 90% complete. Projectile load cell electronics 20% complete.
  • Sept 2019 – Cannon assembly due late Sept. – Barrel incorrectly machined requiring remanufacture.
  • Jan 2020 – Evaluation of high speed cameras, Digital Image Correlation and Data Acquisition systems.
  • Feb 2020 – Final assembly of cannon in progress at local manufacturer. Pressure testing and certification to follow.
  • 27 Mar 2020 – Cannon assembly delivered to Banyo Pilot Plant Precinct¬† (10 months later than expected!)
  • Apr 2020 – Testing of mechanical elements for fit and function. Design of additional tools and aids as required.
  • June 2020 – Pneumatics control panel completed
  • July 2020 – Projectile jams in barrel due to distortion caused by welding during manufacture. Entire assembly returned to manufacturer for rectification.
  • July 2020 – Barrel honed to correct distortion errors but needs electroless nickel plating restored for low friction and corrosion protection.
  • Oct 2020 – Flash chroming considered and ultimately rejected by supplier as alternative to electroless nickel for internal of barrel.
  • Nov 2020 – NAC high speed cameras and HBK 24ch high speed Target Data Acquisition equipment and software delivered.
  • Dec 2020 – During rectification, the barrel honed beyond size tolerance. Requested new barrel to original specifications.
  • Jan 2021 – New barrel machined successfully.
  • Jan 2021 – Design work commenced on specimen loading frame for use with return masonry walls as per ARC Discovery project.
  • Feb 2021 – Various problems with electroless nickel plating of the barrel.
  • Mar 2021 – Lien Chau, DeFab manager, appointed as Impact Test Facility project manager.
  • May 2021 – Barrel plated but outgassing during plating process produced some small sharp surface protrusions to be honed.
  • June 2021 – 125mm x 50mm vent slots in centre of barrel¬† preventing local companies from honing the barrel. QUT’s DeFab facility devised a suitable honing tool and suitably dressed the surface .
  • June 2021 – Barrel reassembled into the cannon assembly and returned to QUT’s Banyo Pilot Plant Facility
June 2020 – Pneumatics control panel assembled & fitted.
Mar 2020 – Cannon assembly finally delivered.

Feb 2020 – Vented barrel assembled to pressure vessel.