O-007 Operational Hazards and Solution Tradeoffs

January 1994
Benjamin B. Stokes III (Propulsion Design)

The overall objective of this tutorial is to provide a brief background into the why's, how's, who's, what's and where's of Insensitive Munitions (IM) technology as it relates to propellant tailoring to reduce system sensitivity to the defined IM threats. This overview provides perspective for the more specific discussions lo follow by other presenters who will describe propellant ingredients and propellant approaches that have been developed to achieve reduced sensitivity to the IM threats.

This presentation begins with a discussion of some of the current needs for IM technology in today's world of terrorist's threats and loosely-defined military theaters of operation. Hazards reduction is a systems problem and can only be solved by a systems approach, of which the propellant is only one of the components. The tutorial presents an overview into threat hazard assessment methodology. These threat hazards are divided into the categories of thermal, mechanical (shock or friction), sympathetic function (detonation) and electrostatic discharge to establish a basis for discussing how a propellant could be tailored to minimize the impact of these threats.

The NATO Insensitive Munitions Information Center, better known as NIMIC, is by virtue of its charter in position to follow insensitive munition developments of solid propellant organizations within its membership of Canada, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. Technical points of contact for each organization involved in IM activities are identified and the propellant types being considered by these organizations to achieve IM compliance are discussed.