Materials Technology

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

Contact us for more information

Kevin Jaansalu
+32 2 707 56 36

TSO’s expertise areas include:
• Health management of ageing munitions
• Novel materials characterization and usage
• Advanced modeling and simulation techniques
• Shock and blast mitigation technology

Current area of interest / work: 

Current areas of specific interest are understanding and modeling the long term material degradation in munition systems, application of novel sensor technologies to capturing environmental exposure and explosive effects, and health management of “perishable” munition inventory items, whose life or performance is affected by exposure to heat, cold, humidity, chemicals, etc.

MSIAC Work Elements Supported:

  1. Definition of Material Properties and Data for Modelling

(In conjunction with WT and EM TSOs)

Generate a report containing important material properties required to support modelling efforts and the methods to determine them.  Data will then be gathered from the nations on selected commonly used material(s).  This effort will encourage exchange of ideas on required properties and experimental values for modelling ignition and growth.  This document will then be available as a reference to support munition vulnerability modelling of mechanical and thermal threats to aid model development and validation. 


  1. Develop Improved Understanding of Ageing Related Mechanical Damage

The response of munitions, and the materials that they contain, to mechanical stresses is a complex problem which often limits the life of munitions.  Mechanical stresses arise throughout the lifecycle and are developed during transportation, deployment, and use.  Understanding the response of heterogeneous explosives and composite structural materials to stresses of this nature presents significant challenges to assessing and predicting safe and suitable life.

This work element will assist the effort to understand mechanisms such as cracking, delamination, fiber breakage, and fiber matrix debonding, by exploiting knowledge from the wider materials community.  MSIAC will seek to assist in the development of tools and understanding to compliment observation through ISS sampling and improve assessment confidence.


  1. Integrated Munition Health Management – Support to NATO Smart Defence Initiative

(In conjunction with PT TSO)

As part of the Smart Defence Initiative on Integrated Munitions Health Management, AC/326 intends to write a STANREC and to update the ISS documents as necessary.  MSIAC will act as a supporting body to draft the content of the document by writing a White Paper.  It could:

  • Address common issues with implementation of a munition health management system, including the level of sensor integration as a function of the level of complexity of the weapon
  • Recommend data to measure as a function of the failure modes
  • Recommend measurement characteristics, use of data, interoperability of data, and modelling data (determination, use and predictive capability)


  1. Effect of Ageing on Materials and Munitions Safety

(In conjunction with PT and EM TSOs)

There are two objectives of this work element:

  • Provide MSIAC nations with a state of the art review document on the effect of ageing on the munition response to IM threats.Currently, the IM and HC tests are performed on brand new munitions. But with age, the energetic material characteristics will change, possibly affecting response to HC/IM threats. Relevant results will be culled from independent studies, and those conduted as part of EDA or TTCP efforts.
  • Exploit this work for wider munitions safety ageing issues. Deliverables will be prepared to detail the SOA with respect to understanding, the tools and techniques that can be applied, and key properties to be studied, to evaluate changes to materials throughout the lifecycle. Evaluation against known failure modes of materials will inform the tools to help improve life assessment.


  1. ISS Guidelines

(In conjunction with MS and PT TSOs)

This work element will develop a practitioner’s guideline for Nations to  implement NATO AOP-62 and AOP-63, and direction to assure interoperability and exchange of data.  The guideline may potentially be an annex to the AOP-63 or a D-Document that is referenced by the AOP.

Knowing the condition of a Nation’s munitions in storage and deployment is vital to assure they are safe to handle and store, but also suitable and reliable for the intended user.  Additionally, operations with two or more Nations contributing to the forces have increased the need to have confidence in other Nations’ ISS, given the joint risk posed.  Furthermore, extended deployment of munitions to operation environments generally increases the environmental stresses that munitions are exposed to increasing reliance on ISS to manage the risk.  The AOPs provide a standard for Nations developing an ISS program, but fall short in guiding a Nation how in practice to determine the condition of munitions, and do not assure interoperability or compatibility of information.  An exchange on experience of implementing ISS is seen as a means to identify and develop best practice. An output would be development of a practitioners guide to encourage adoption of common best practices.