Materials Technology

Knowing what each munition is exposed to during its life is
Novel materials used in munitions present new challenges
Munition failures can often be related to component materials
Turning data into actionable information and using it to make safety, logistics, and acquisition decisions is “Health Management”

Materials science and engineering form the building blocks for many areas of munition technology.

MSIAC expertise in materials technology covers the span of chemical and materials engineering, particularly with the application of principles of physical chemistry or physical metallurgy to various processes.


Current areas of specific interest are understanding and modeling long term material degradation in munition systems, estimation schemes for physical properties of energetic materials, cost benefit analysis and probabilistic approaches for MHM implementation.

MSIAC Work Elements Supported:

1. Effect of Aging on EM and Munitions
A number of reports and answers to technical questions exist in the MSIAC portfolio about the effect of ageing of energetic materials and munitions on performance and safety. However, some documents are restricted distribution or not widely accessible to the MSIAC community. The goal is to provide a series of reports describing the effect of ageing on the performance and safety to specific energetic materials, including raw materials, gun propellants, polymer bonded EMs (including PBX and solid rocket motor propellants), melt-cast formulations, and flares and pyrotechnics.

2. Non-Destructive Testing of Munitions
In conjunction with the EMTWG (formerly IMEMTS), a specialists’ technical meeting will be organized to address Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) of Munitions . This technical meeting represents a follow-up of the MSIAC workshop on Defects – Causes, Classification and Criticality that was held virtually in March 2021. Based on the output from the defects workshop, we look to discuss and advance efforts in the areas related to calibration and standards, X-ray imaging, defect acceptance, and emerging technologies.

3. Property Estimations for Energetic Materials
Characterization of energetic materials are often incomplete, or not yet undertaken, which impedes any modelling effort. Some properties are straightforward to estimate and the estimation scheme is based on well-known physical principles. Several methods exist in the wider materials community to estimate properties and have yet to be applied to energetic materials. This work assesses and recommends an appropriate estimation scheme for different physical, transport, and shock properties.
Some of this work will be directed towards collating the property data, required in modelling efforts, for specific common formulations. The document is available as a reference to support munition vulnerability modelling of mechanical and thermal threats to aid in their development and validation.

4. Sensitivity Analysis of Life Cycle Costing for Munition Health Monitoring
Cost benefit analysis is well known within different defence communities. The goal is to further explore the benefits of Monte Carlo simulation in the context of Munition Health Monitoring. Specific attention will be paid to the information, decisions, and the impact on life cycle costs.

Contact us for more information

Kevin Jaansalu
Materials Technology TSO
+32 2 707 56 36