L-113 Insensitive Munitions: The Effect of Ageing Upon Life Cycle Workshop - Part III (MSIAC RESTRICTED

November 2005
Duncan Watt (Energetic Materials) , Eric Deschambault (Munitions Logistics - Transport and Storage), Ian Powell (Propulsion Technology), Frédéric Peugeot (Warhead Technology)


One of the foremost topics of interest at current to MSIAC nations is the possible effect of long-term ageing upon IM performance and through-life munition safety. A large number of factors act in concert to influence the effect of ageing upon munition IM/safety. The stability of the explosives compound used, the stability, compatibility and integrity of the explosives formulation used, the compatibility of the explosives with the materials within the munition system and the environmental conditions the weapon is stored in are some of the many factors involved.

These factors can act upon the IM/safety response in two ways. The first, involves possible changes to the IM signature, the response level of the munition when subjected to the IM threats. The second, concerns possible changes in life expectancy of IM compared with non-IM. The report provides a review of data on the ageing of energetic materials being introduced into weapon systems to help meet IM requirements.

The four fundamental requirements or tools that must be available to allow for accurate prediction of the effects of ageing upon IM signature are:

Knowing what mechanisms occur during the ageing process.

Knowing what characteristics are important/require tracking - Knowing what to measure and how to measure it.

The ability to predict - having developed ageing models, data-logging to evaluate level of exposures and analytical techniques.

Knowing when to act - having predefined acceptability levels for these critical characteristics.

This document is the combination of the technical review programme conducted by the MSIAC technical specialists and the results of the MSIAC workshop in May 2005 entitled Insensitive Munitions - The Effect of Ageing Upon Life Cycle.