EXPLOTING INK !
EXPLOTING INK !
2006-02-09 at 9:45:00 am #14187
over 30 years, Barry Fox has trawled the world’s weird and wonderful
patent applications, uncovering the most exciting, bizarre or even
terrifying new ideas. His column, Invention, is exclusively online.
Scroll down for a roundup of previous Invention articles.
unusual ink-jet printer cartridge, containing explosive ink, has been
patented by Qinetiq, the commercial spin-off of the British Ministry of
The ink is a mixture of very fine aluminium particles, each 1 micrometre
diameter, particles of copper oxide 5 micrometres wide, epoxy varnish
and alcohol. The ink is stable in liquid form, making it safe to print
onto conventional paper, but forms an explosive fuse once dry.
engineer can easily sketch out a printable fuse using computer imaging
software, modifying the delay in milliseconds by changing the length,
thickness and pattern of the line on the paper.
The ink can then be
printed between a small strip of metal and a larger patch of explosive
ink. Feeding a current through the metal strip makes it hot enough to
ignite the fuse, which burns until it reaches the explosive patch. This
explosion can then trigger the detonation of a much larger amount of
Qinetiq suggests printed fuses could be used for
precisely controlling fireworks, triggering vehicle air bags or for
conventional munitions. Ganging hundreds or thousands of fuses together
could even make a miniature rocket engine capable of precisely
adjusting the orbital position of a spacecraft, the company says.