Defects - Causes, Classification and Criticality

The Hague
15 June 2020 to 19 June 2020
Defects in energetic materials or in other materials used in munitions systems are common and can have a significant impact on the safety and reliability of the munition, yet guidance and understanding on how to assess and sentence defects is often limited. In 2020 MSIAC will host a workshop, the goal of which is to define the methodology by which the criticality of the materials factors leading to failure of munition systems can be assessed, and how this assessment can then be used to inform safety and capability related decisions.
In order to achieve this goal, the workshop will seek to develop an understanding of the following:
  • The types of structural defects and property changes which might occur in different types of munition systems (e.g. based on energetic material, role, service environment, age etc.) and the processes which leads to their creation and growth
  • Techniques for the detection and characterisation of structural defects and property changes, including their limitations
  • The impact of structural defects and property changes on Safety and Suitability for Service for different munition systems, energetic materials, roles and service environments
  • The information that is required to support the decision making process, including tools that can be used to develop risk based arguments and the risk controls that can be implemented at various points in the Capability Life Cycle (CLC)
The Defects Workshop will take place over five working days in June 2020, and will progress through a number of Plenary Sessions and parallel Focus Areas. At present, it is proposed that the workshop proceed as follows:
  • Day 1: An opening plenary session to discuss the goals of the workshop, provide a baseline understanding of the theories and tools supporting the workshop, and to introduce the various Focus Areas. Presentations will be made by both MSIAC staff and delegates.
  • Day 2/3/4: Four parallel Focus Areas, each sitting for three sessions. After each session a group briefing session will be held to present the outputs of each Focus Area.
  • Day 5: A closing plenary session to discuss the workshop conclusions, and propose a way forward for future work.

This proposed workshop structure is presented in the figure below.

The individual Focus Areas, including proposed topics of discussion and expected outputs, are discussed in the following paragraphs. These focus areas may potentially be further sub-divided to consider specific technology areas where munition system design or application necessitates a different approach (e.g. warheads / rocket motors / gun launched munitions etc.).
For the workshop to run smoothly we require participation from attendees through the exchange of information, including presentation of material, discussions, and literature of relevance to defects in energetic materials and munition systems.

We encourage those who are interested in attending to submit abstracts for presentation as soon as possible. Please submit your abstract by emailing it to:

Having abstracts prior to the registration process allow us to populate the plenary and focus area discussion groups with presentations and participants. Abstract submission will remain open until 30th April 2020. Please let us know us if you are waiting on clearance for your material.

Abstract submissions may be for a technical paper and presentation, or a presentation only - please indicate which in your submission. All papers and presentations must be releasable to MSIAC member nations. If your nation requires clearance of presentation material, please make sure to submit it to the appropriate authorities in good time to allow clearance prior to the workshop.

We will inform those whose abstracts have been selected for inclusion in the workshop by 30th April 2020. Please remember that the submission of an abstract and registration are two separate processes and have separate forms for completion.

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions by sending an email to

Appropriate markings (as per the MSIAC Security Instructions):

Papers that are open for public releases (i.e. have unlimited distribution) do not need to be marked with any specific statement.  Papers limited to MSIAC member nations only should be marked - MSIAC Limited.  Classified documents should be released through your  MSIAC National Focal Point Officer or service Focal Point Officer to ensure that the appropriate NATO classification statement is clearly indicated. National points of contact are listed here.

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Registration for the workshop is now open. Please fill out the registration form below. Don't forget to submit an abstract for any presentations you wish to provide (see "Call for Papers" above).


The workshop will be limited to 75 participants and we encourage representation from all MSIAC member nations. In the event that places are limited, MSIAC National Focal Point Officer(s) will take the final decision on attendance for their respective nations.

This Unclassified workshop is open at no cost to Government, Industry and Academia representatives from all MSIAC member nations. Please note that delegates will be responsible for meeting the cost of their own travel, accommodation and expenses for the workshop. Do not make any travel arrangements until your attendance has been confirmed.

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Personal information
Session information
Please select the days you will be attending the workshop
Please select Focus areas that are of most interest to you
Abstract informaton
Abstracts can be submitted under "Call for Papers" above
If yes please provide the titles. All technical literature and papers will be provided when available under the resources link (at the right of this page).
General information
The welcome reception will be held on Sunday evening -14th June 2020
Please note there will be an additional charge for partners
The workshop dinner will be held on Wednesday evening - 17th June 2020
Please note there will be an additional cost for partners
The workshop will be held at the Crowne Plaza Den Haag - Promenade.
Further details will be released in the coming months
Abstracts, reports and any other information will be shared through the MSIAC secure website*.
At this stage a white paper about the workshop is available here.
*To access these reports will require secure access credentials. These can be obtain via this form