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. Aging Algorithms and Aging 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.
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.
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 builds on the work of a student to assess and recommend the 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. This data will 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.
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.