O-217 An International Review On Green Insensitive Plastic Explosives

April 2020
Christelle Collet (TSO Propulsion Technology)
The main characteristics required for plastic explosives are that they are hand-mouldable and that they stick to surfaces on which they are designed to be used. It is also required that plastic explosives are able to be initiated by a detonator or a detonating cord without any extra booster. Finally, the detonation properties need to meet the requirements of the intended application (e.g. EOD, IEDD, breaching, military engineering / demolitions, mining etc.).
In addition to the above basic characteristics, some new requirements have recently arisen, such as the marking of plastic explosives by a taggant and compliance with environmental constraints. Finally, a good IM signature is nowadays more likely to be considered as a basic requirement for any new development of energetic materials, including plastic explosives.
An extensive review was conducted at MSIAC to list all the past, current and in development plastic explosives throughout the world. Dynamite-like (in cartridge), emulsion explosives and sheet explosives were considered beyond the scope of this study.
After some initial research, the study focussed on plastic explosives that met the following criteria, whenever possible:
  • without RDX (for environmental constraints)
  • without PETN (for insensitivity constraints)
  • IM compliant
This study aims at differentiating the existing and newly developed plastic explosives in order to help the community in their benchmarking of new plastic explosives. The paper presents the output from this international review.

Contact us for more information

Christelle Collet
Propulsion Technology TSO
+32 2 707 54 47