SERDP & ESTCP Webinar Series

SERDP and ESTCP have launched a webinar series to promote the transfer of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions developed through projects funded in five program areas. The webinar series targets Department of Defense and Department of Energy practitioners, the regulatory community and environmental researchers with the goal of providing cutting edge and practical information that is easily accessible at no cost.

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Webinar #106 (02/27/2020)

Advances in the Development of Environmentally Friendly Pyrotechnic and Propellant Formulations 

Matthew Puszynski, Innovative Materials & Processes LLC

Mike Miller, Resodyn Corporation

February 27, 2020

12:00 PM ET (9:00 AM PT)

Presentation Slides

                                                                                                  

Abstracts

“Environmentally Benign Multi-Component Delay System with Tunable Propagation Characteristics” by Matthew Puszynski

The goal of this project is to develop a multi-component, environmentally benign, pyrotechnic delay system with wide range burn-rate tunability to meet specifications of M201A1 and M213/M228 fuze assemblies currently used by the Department of Defense (DoD). The key environmental advantage of this type of pyrotechnic delay system is to eliminate hazardous delay mixtures containing potassium perchlorate, hexavalent chromium and lead. The pyrotechnic formulation developed consists of a binary fuel system (aluminum and silicon), strontium molybdate oxidizer and silicon dioxide burn rate modifiers, which all meet environmental standards. This presentation summarizes the effect of stoichiometry, binary fuel ratio, and fuel particle size on burn rate of the pyrotechnic delay. In addition, resonant acoustic mixing (RAM) technology is a key element of this project. Benefits to DoD include removing chromates and perchlorates from existing pyrotechnic delay formulations, decreasing variation of fuze burn times, and removing lead styphnate and lead azide from the primer and detonator in the M67 grenade fuze system. 

“Safer and Cleaner Continuous ResonantAcoustic® Production of Energetic Material” by Mike Miller

The objective of this project is to develop a safer and cleaner manufacturing process for rocket propellants, explosives and pyrotechnic formulations for DoD munitions. The improved manufacturing process is enabled by a Continuous Acoustic Mixer (CAM) with Clean-In-Place (CIP) capabilities (CAM-CIP) to reduce waste streams and improve worker safety. The CAM-CIP technology will benefit the DoD by providing a functional, cost effective, scalable mixing process and methodology for manufacturing energetic formulations that will reduce energetic material waste, cleaning waste and solvent use in manufacturing.

A CAM device was designed with Clean-In-Place (CIP) capabilities based on RAM technology that is the superior mixing technology for processing energetic materials. The CAM-CIP realizes the same advantages while enabling continuous manufacturing of energetic material. The CAM-CIP also controls the temperature of the mixed material and is rated for mixing energetic material. The presentation will describe the CAM-CIP system, how the CAM-CIP system was characterized and optimized to produce surrogate energetic material, and how the CAM-CIP system more safely produces energetic materials with a significantly reduced waste stream during production and cleaning. The next phase of the project involves transitioning the CAM-CIP equipment and knowledge to Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) China Lake to produce the high energy formulations used by DoD.

Speaker Biographies

Matthew Puszynski

Matthew Puszynski is the chief operating officer of Innovative Materials and Processes, LLC located in Rapid City, South Dakota. Matt has served as the principal investigator on multiple research and development projects funded by the Department of Defense. He has over twelve years of experience in energetic materials, product and process development. His work has focused on the development of lead-free initiator materials and applications, pyrotechnic delay systems, and advanced manufacturing processes utilizing resonant acoustic mixing (RAM) and automated dispensing of energetic formulations. He is currently leading the technology transfer effort to the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center at Picatinny Arsenal for automated manufacturing of green ammunition primers. He holds a Master of Science degree in engineering management and a Six Sigma Certification from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Mike Miller

Mike Miller is a senior chemical engineer working with Resodyn Corporation in Butte, Montana. Mike has 20 years of experience as a chemical engineer and 10 years of experience as a leader in process development engineering. Mike has been successful in taking laboratory technology and developing processes through bench top to full scale industrial applications. His current focus is developing continuous applications using ResonantAcoustic® mixing (RAM) technology. The continuous applications include a system for Continuous ResonantAcoustic® production of explosives and propellants that is safer, better for the environment, and more economical. Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Mike is licensed as a Professional Engineer in Utah.

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