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Isentropic compression generators

Behavioral studies of materials undergoing very high pressures (of approximately a million bars) require specific test resources. ITHPP has developed a range of isentropic compression generators, which enable samples to be load by using magnetic pressure.

Schematically, a very intense current (several million amperes) circulating in electrodes creates a magnetic field that generates magnetic pressure. It is this magnetic pressure that is applied to the sample and, as a result, a pressure wave spreads through the material under test. The speed of the rise in pressure is directly related to the evolution of the current, which can avoid the creation of a shock wave in the sample.  This last point explains the name “isentropic compression”, given to this technology and clearly differentiates it from the laboratory guns normally used for this type of operation.

These means of testing can also be used for accelerating projectiles up to speeds higher than 10km/s, speeds that are inaccessible to other experimental resources on Earth. This capacity opens the doors to studies on hyper-speed impacts and studies required for developing armoring against this type of menace, especially for applications in space.

These isentropic compression generators, which only ITHPP manufactures industrially at present, are universally recognized by users as being unique instruments for studying the behavior of materials subjected to high pressures. In France and the United States, they are used every day by top-level research teams and the results obtained are the subject of a countless number of original scientific publications.

The main characteristics of ITHPP isentropic compression generators are:

  • a capacity to load samples up to a pressure of over 1 million bars;
  • samples of a significant size (several centimeters in diameter);
  • test reproducibility;
  • uniformity of solicitation;
  • tests possible on all types of solid samples (electricity conductors or not) or even liquid samples;
  • the possibility of carrying out several tests per day;
  • complex instrumentation of samples is also possible (interferometry, pyrometry, etc.).