SERDP and ESTCP Webinar: Energetic Materials and Munitions

This SERDP and ESTCP webinar focuses on DoD-funded research to replace hazardous delay compositions used by the military with environmentally benign alternatives. Specifically, investigators will discuss environmentally-sustainable, gasless delay compositions for use in fuzes for hand grenades, as well as a strontium molybdate-based and chromium-free delay composition to replace the standard T-10 pyrotechnic delay composition.

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Webinar #137 (7/08/2021)

Energetic Materials and Munitions 

Dr. Jay C. Poret and Dr. Anthony Shaw, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center

Dr. Andrew Ihnen, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division

July 8, 2021

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

Presentation Slides

Abstracts

“Environmentally Sustainable Gasless Delay Compositions for Fuzes” by Dr. Jay C. Poret and Dr. Anthony Shaw ( SERDP Project WP-2518)

Pyrotechnic delay compositions are used by the military in a variety of munitions, especially in fuzes for hand grenades. Thousands of delay compositions are used on training ranges every year, creating a significant risk of contamination. The replacement of hazardous delay compositions with environmentally friendly alternatives is of great importance to the Department of Defense (DoD). This project explores the thermodynamics and kinetics of the manganese/manganese dioxide (Mn/MnO2) and tungsten/manganese dioxide (W/MnO2) thermitic systems, which show great promise as candidate replacement delay compositions for use in the M201A1 and M213/M228 configurations.

Hand grenade fuzes must provide a reliable and safe interval between when the grenade is released and subsequent initiation of the main charge. The M201A1 fuze is used for smoke grenades and provides a delay time of about 1 to 2.3 seconds. The M67/M69 fragmentation and practice grenades use M213/M228 fuzes, which provide a delay time of about 4 to -5.5 seconds. This presentation will discuss how Mn/MnO2 and W/MnO2 systems can meet the M201A1 and M213/M228 delay time requirements, respectively. Findings also show that an igniter composition containing titanium, manganese dioxide, and polytetrafluoroethylene in a 60/35/5 weight ratio is effective as an input charge and as an output charge.

 

“Demonstration of Green Delay with T-10 Performance” by Dr. Andrew Ihnen ( ESTCP Project WP18-5262)

The T-10 pyrotechnic delay composition is made of environmentally regulated materials including boron, barium chromate, and hexavalent chromium. This project demonstrates that a strontium molybdate (SrMoO4)-based delay composition that is environmentally-friendly and free of perchlorates, lead, and hexavalent chromium can be used as a replacement for the T-10 pyrotechnic delay composition. Replacing the widely used T-10 composition with an environmentally-friendly delay composition allows the DoD to eliminate the use of hexavalent chromium across many weapon and system platforms and reduce manufacturing waste streams.

This presentation will discuss the SrMoO4-based delay composition developed under a previous SERDP project (WP-2519) and present the results of performance testing as an alternative to the T-10 delay composition. When barium chromate in traditional delay compositions is replaced with SrMoO4 in combination with aluminum, silicon, diatomaceous earth, and a burn rate modifier, the delay composition exhibits a wide inverse burn rate range within the temperature range of -65 to 160 °F. The inverse burn rate may be tuned to range from 1.3 to 11 seconds per inch, depending on the formulation and application characteristics, which is within the operating range of the T-10 delay composition. In addition to using less hazardous materials, the SrMoO4-based delay composition reduces the waste generated during production by decreasing the processing steps from 30 to four and using water instead of an organic solvent.

 

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Jay Poret has worked in the Pyrotechnics Technology Division of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (ARDEC) since 2003. His research interests include the development of environmentally benign pyrotechnic compositions, combustion modeling, and optical measurement systems. Dr. Poret earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in materials engineering from the University of Alabama. He received a doctoral degree in materials science from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Anthony Shaw has worked in the Pyrotechnics Technology Division of ARDEC since 2010. His research interests include the thermodynamics of energetic materials, the design of pyrotechnic systems, and high-temperature inorganic chemistry. Dr. Shaw received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He subsequently earned two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree in chemistry from Columbia University.

Dr. Andrew Ihnen is a research scientist at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California. He has worked for the U.S. Navy since 2012. He is currently investigating the formulation of energetic materials for printing using a wide range of additive manufacturing technologies. Dr. Ihnen’is the recipient of both the Dr. William B. McLean Award and the Michelson Laboratory Award in recognition of his work from the Naval Air Systems Command. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Military Institute as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in materials engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.

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