The development of special-purpose pressure vessels for small-bore, high-velocity electromagnetic launchers has characteristically employed low modulus composites and bolted steel frames. Such designs exhibit low structural stiffness, particularly at high operating currents. Although these designs can be modified to improve mechanical performance, numerical modeling results indicate that basic changes are needed to allow operation at the high bore pressures characteristic of newly developed pulsed power supplies. The indicated design changes introduce a requirement for fast fracture and fatigue reliability analysis of low tensile strength ceramic parts.

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