Our history

THIOT INGENIERIE—created in 1988 by Patrick Thiot—has developed unique expertise in the development, design and manufacture of laboratory launchers. For the last thirty years, these high-tech devices have been used in the world’s most prestigious research centers and laboratories. Our scientific and technological expertise in high-pressure equipment and shock physics has enabled us to expand the scope of our activity. Our product range now includes: single-stage gas guns, two-stage light-gas guns, firing-range chambers, detonation chambers, explosion-containment chambers, Split-Hopkinson bars for compression or direct-tensile tests and autofrettage machines for gun barrels.

In 2008, THIOT INGENIERIE decided to offer its services directly to its clients by opening its own shock physics laboratory with also numerical simulation and R&D center. The company now boasts numerous test facilities—equipped with the most advanced metrology tools available—to carry out tests, primarily for the requirements of the defence, aerospace, aeronautics and research sectors. These tests serve to observe, study and analyse the behavior of materials subjected to high-velocity impacts.

30
employeesexperts, engineers and specialized researchers
60
laboratory gas guns delivered all over the world
1
private shock physics laboratory in the world

Key dates

  • 1988: Creation of THIOT INGENIERIE, a company specialised in the design and manufacture of laboratory launchers
  • 1992: Creation of the ATHENA two-stage light-gas gun for the CEA centre in Gramat. This gun is in operation to this day and is still one of the most powerful in France.
  • 2002: Design and manufacture of the JASPER gas gun for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, world-renowned for its testing quality and reliability.
  • 2008: Inauguration of the Shock Physics Laboratory, the world’s first private establishment in this cutting-edge sector. Two launchers made available to our clients: TITAN and HERMES
  • 2011: Acquisition of JUPITER, a world-unique dynamic press capable of generating a 200-tonne load in 3 milliseconds.
  • 2012: Acquisition of VULCAIN, a two-stage light-gas gun, and its firing-range chamber.
  • 2015: World speed record with the launch of an aluminium ball projectile at 10.5 km/s (38,000 km/h). This speed nears that of micrometeorites and space debris, which represent the principal threats to the lifespan of satellites in orbit. Design of a modular, single and two-stage laboratory launcher for the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Canberra (Australia).
    Three-year R&D partnership as part of the RAPID/DGA/ANR program to study and characterize hailstone impacts on civilian and military aeronautical structures. A further three-year partnership as part of the ASTRID/DGA/ANR program to improve the mechanical performance of metallic materials subjected to gross dynamic deformation.
  • 2016: Design of a new generation of gas guns. The laboratory acquires three new items of test equipment: Hopkinson bars for direct-tension testing, THOR, a gun for projectiles of up to 15 kg, and CHRONOS, the first high-performance acceleration generator.
  • 2017: Extension of a firing range (by 150 m3), able to house large structures for impact testing.

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