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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.
Removal of Perchlorate Oxidizers from Red- and Green-Emitting Pyrotechnic Flares by Dr. Eric Miklaszewski
Potassium perchlorate (KClO4) and ammonium perchlorate (NH4ClO4) have been widely used as oxidizers in military and civilian pyrotechnics due to their high reactivity, low cost, low-moisture sensitivity, and high stability. However, these constituents have been identified to be highly toxic and damaging to the environment and have motivated multiple efforts to reformulate pyrotechnic formulations which contain these chemicals. Since 2002, SERDP and ESTCP have funded the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division, to reformulate several visible signal flares used within the Department of Defense (DoD) to achieve performance requirements while removing the environmentally-hazardous perchlorate oxidizers. The reformulation efforts were directed to engineer new formulations that meet the dominant wavelength, color purity, photometric intensity, and burn time requirements for specific red- and green-emitting signal flares. This presentation will review the current regulatory requirements that are driving these projects with a summary of each project’s scope, obstacles encountered, and successes during the development of new pyrotechnic formulations.
Sustainable Incendiary Projectiles by Dr. Jared Moretti
This presentation will describe recent efforts to identify one perchlorate-free incendiary formulation for the Army’s M8 and Navy’s Mk257 .50-caliber incendiary projectiles. As part of ESTCP project number WP-201110, the performance data of two perchlorate-free candidate formulations were compared to the current in-service incendiary mixture (IM-28) through system demonstration in the actual bullet hardware. The technical approach for this perchlorate elimination program has been comprised of a three-way teaming effort led by the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) and includes the NSWC, Crane Division, along with an industrial manufacturing partner, Alliant Techsystems’ (ATK) Small Caliber Division. The government laboratories (ARDEC and NSWC) collaborated on formulation development, while ATK fabricated, demonstrated and validated candidate formulations in the full-up M8 and Mk257 hardware. The initial two candidates were each composed of strontium nitrate and sodium meta-periodate, but the latter composition was down-selected on the basis of performance. Recent iterations of bullet manufacture at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) provide insight into what factors most significantly affect .50-caliber bullet performance.
Dr. Eric Miklaszewski is a member of the Pyrotechnics Operations Branch at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, which has been tasked with the removal of perchlorate oxidizers for Naval pyrotechnic formulations over the past fifteen years. Dr. Miklaszewski’s research focuses on the development of novel pyrotechnic compositions, product improvement of in-service units, and environmentally-friendly reformulation of in-service pyrotechnic compositions. He supports the lot acceptance testing for Navy airborne infrared countermeasure units and of all pyrotechnic items manufactured by Crane Army Ammunition Activity. Dr. Miklaszewski received his Ph.D. from Purdue University where he studied energetic material combustion under Professors Steven Son and Lori Groven. During his graduate studies, he tailored pyrotechnic systems to meet pre-determined propagation rate in aluminum micro channels and developed computer models to simulate reactive systems using measured and thermal properties.
Dr. Jared Moretti has been the technical lead of numerous research and development programs and testing projects in the Pyrotechnics Technology and Prototyping Division at ARDEC (Picatinny Arsenal, NJ). Much of his current work focuses on the development of environmentally benign chemical formulations for mission-critical U.S. Army pyrotechnic devices. Examples of such devices include visible light battlefield illuminant signals, colored smoke signals, smoke grenades, and armor-piercing incendiary projectiles. Dr. Moretti also conducts testing for the development of corrosion-resistant magnesium alloys, a project aimed to extend the shelf life of armaments. He has filed four patent applications, published nine papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and represents ARDEC Pyrotechnics regularly at scientific conferences. He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA) in 2006 and he holds a doctoral degree (2010) in organic chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, also in PA.