A method and machine 14 are provided for cutting a workpiece 12 such as concrete. A gun barrel 16 is provided for repetitively loading projectiles 22 therein and is supplied with a pressurized propellant from a storage tank 28. A thermal storage tank 32,32A is disposed between the propellant storage tank 28 and the gun barrel 16 for repetitively receiving and heating propellant charges which are released in the gun barrel 16 for repetitively firing projectiles 22 therefrom toward the workpiece 12. In a preferred embodiment, hypervelocity of the projectiles 22 is obtained for cutting the concrete workpiece 12 by fracturing thereof.
This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-AC02-76CH00016, between the U.S. Department of Energy and Associated Universities, Inc. The Government has certain rights in the invention.