O-071 Fragment Impact Testing: a Survey of current methods, and Recommendations for the Future

August 2002
Michael Fisher (Propulsion Technology), Frédéric Peugeot (Warhead Technology)

One of the stimuli specified in NATO STANAG 4439 on Insensitive Munitions (IM) requirements, and in the national IM requirements of the United States and France is fragment impact, or fragment attack. Although NATO AC/310 has generated a draft STANAG on fragment impact testing, the international technical community has never reached agreement regarding either the characteristics of the fragments to be used, or the method of firing them at the test item. Advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches used have been debated for years without any standard methodology being accepted as yet. Recently, experts in various nations have been re-examining fragment impact in an attempt to identify a test procedure that is representative of the credible threats, repeatable and reproducible, and instructive, i.e., resulting in data that are understandable and useful. Meeting this need will require an understanding of the threats and how best to simulate these threats in a cost effective and technically sound testing approach. To assist the community in this difficult task, NIMIC staff have gathered relevant information from the NIMIC databases and presented it in a report, along with analyses of the data and recommendations for the way ahead.

This paper provides a brief summary of the report, entitled Fragment Impact Testing: NIMICs Review and Proposal 1 , with particular emphasis on the proposed test method and methodology for determining appropriate test parameters. Data from various experiments and analyses, obtained by NIMIC from the member nations, have been analyzed in order to formulate a procedure for determining the appropriate fragment masses and velocities to be used for Fragment Impact testing. It is NIMIC's intention to propose this methodology, and the data supporting it, to the international IM community for consideration in the development of standardized test procedures for fragment impact.

Presentation details

This paper was presented to the 30th US Department of Defense Explosive Safety Seminar (DDESB) on 13-15 August 2002 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia, USA