O-016 What Makes a Useable New Energetic Material?

October 1994
Andrew J. Sanderson (Energetic Materials)

In the last 50 years, very many new energetic compounds have been made as potential ingredients for explosive, propellant and pyrotechnic formulations. Of these compounds very few have come to be used in military munitions. To obtain a better understanding of why this has been the case and to help address the discrepancy, the NATO Insensitive Munitions Information Centre (MMIC) held a workshop in June 1994 open to representatives from government and industry within MMIC member nations, to study what it is that makes a new energetic material useable. Issues that were addressed included:

  • what is currently being used from the current understanding of detonics and molecular modelling in the targeting and preparation of new energetic materials;
  • what use is made by the energetic materials designer of present capabilities to predict the performance and safety of new compounds and formulations;
  • what do the users require of predictive resources and molecular modelling in order to target more potentially useful new energetic materials;
  • what are the user's requirements for useful new energetic materials and can these be interpreted as quantitative properties of energetic molecules.

This paper presents a short summary of those conclusions of this NIMIC workshop that are relevant in the field of the understanding and modelling of detonation at a molecular level.