Government of the United States as represented by the Secretary of the Army (N/A)

A guide system to be used for electro-processing the bore of a gun barrel includes a non-conductive external bore guide and an internal bore guide. An adapter designed to attach to the barrel’s exterior, the external bore guide includes an internal conduit. The conduit is placed so that it is aligned axially to a bore in the gun barrel once the bore guide’s external is in contact with the barrel. The internal bore guide is long and features an axial recess that can hold an electro-processing electrode or an anode. Methods to evenly plating bores involve moving an anode along the barrel of a gun in a variety of speeds in order to plate it uniformly. The plating is sufficiently uniform to conform to military specifications. The systems, methods, support structures, etc. that are described in this article are specifically suited to plating small-bore gun barrels.

Field of the Invention

The present invention is generally related to electrochemical processing, and more particularly, to the electrochemical processing of small-bore gun barrels. Particularly the invention pertains to systems and methods for electroplating gun barrels with small bores using a moving anode , and a guide system.

Description of Background Art

It is possible to apply electroplating to the bores of small-bore barrels. In this case, adding a thin layer of chrome (chrome) on the barrel’s bore is beneficial since chrome is extremely robust. Chrome plating improves wear resistance , and consequently barrel’s capability to discharge more projectiles over its life. Chrome plating also has the benefit of providing an anti-corrosion coating to the bore. This improves the lifespan of the barrel, especially in humid conditions. Bores with a diameter less than 50 caliber (or 0.500 inches in diameter) are considered small-bore gun barrels.

Placing a long, anode in the bore of a narrow gun barrel with a bore is one way to plat it. Chromium electrolyte is moved through the bore, while voltages are applied to the anode and gun barrel, and vice versa. The current that flows from the anode to the bore via electrolyte causes the formation of a thin layer of chrome to be formed over the bore’s surface.

One major disadvantage of existing plating techniques is that they are incapable of forming a solid layer of material onto the bore’s surface that is evenly distributed in thickness and quality to satisfy the strict requirements of military standards (e.g.,MIL-STD-171F Finish No. 1.2.2 for chrome) and other plating specifications that are associated with high-accuracy barrels. Non-uniformities in plating’s thickness or quality (e.g., pits, cracks, and etc.).) can be observed after barrel rifling has been completed. can cause projectile errors. The plating techniques used today can result in a high (usually 20-25 percentage) percent of barrels that aren’t compliant with plating specifications. This can significantly increase the cost of production. Therefore, it’s usually the case that barrels with small bores are left unplated to ensure that they shoot more accurately. They also tend to wear faster and need to be replaced more frequently.

The present invention overcomes the difficulties of the prior technology by providing methods and systems for uniformly plating small bore gun barrels. Since the plating is more homogenous in its quality and thickness, the precision of the barrel is preserved and the plating is in line with military standards. Therefore, the amount of barrels to be rejected or reworked can be significantly decreased. The invention also allows personalized plating to be used.

A typical embodiment of this invention offers an electro-processing system that can be used to process the bore of a gun barrel. It includes an electrode (e.g. an anode), a lead electrically connected to the electrode, and an adapter for barrels. The barrel end adapter could be utilized to connect the first end of the gun barrel. When the adapter for the barrel ends engages with the gun barrel the adapter for barrel ends creates an at an axial angle to the bore. The actuator is attached to the lead. It’s utilized to transfer the electrode around the conduit and bore during electro-processing.

A preferred embodiment of the invention includes a barrel end adapter that comprises a nonconductive body and a conduit that is formed in the body that is nonconductive and defines an angle within the body, and an interface for the barrel. To allow the barrel to be temporarily attached end adapter to gun barrels the barrel interface is designed to fit into the distal portion of the gun barrel. When the barrel interface comes into contact with the distal end of the gunbarrel the conduit is aligned along the axis of a bore.

A bore guide as per an exemplary embodiment of the present invention includes an elongated, non-conductive body and a passage formed by a longitudinal axis through the body. The body includes a top, bottom, and multiple sides. The passageway runs through the body from the opening on top to the opening on the bottom. The passage is also designed to accommodate an electrode for electro-processing through at the very least one of its openings. The remaining passage is designed to carry an electrical cable that is connected to the electrode that is used for electro-processing.

An exemplary method for electro-processing a bore of a gun barrel includes steps of providing a gun barrel having a bore defining an axis, providing an electrode having a lead electrically coupled thereto, providing a barrel end adapter defininga conduit therethrough, temporarily affixing the barrel end adapter to a first end of the gun barrel such that the conduit is axially aligned with the bore, positioning the electrode within the bore, positioning the gun barrel in electro-processingsolution, moving the electrode within at least one of the bore and the conduit, and applying process current via the electrode during the step of moving the electrode to cause electro-processing of the bore. The length of the lead is less than the bore.

A guide system that can be utilized to electro-process gun barrels in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention includes an external bore guide that is non-conductive and a non-conductive internal bore guide. The external bore guide is an adapter which is designed to be able to engage the exterior of the gun barrel and has a conduit inserted into it. When the conduit is close to the barrel of the gun it is placed in a way that it is aligned with the axial bore. By using the internal and external bore guides, the anode can be pulled through the gun barrel at a rate(s) that provide uniform plating of the bore. The plating is consistent with military specifications.

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