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.

Abstract submission will open in January 2020. 


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. 

Registration will open in 2020.

If you would like to be kept up to date on preparation for the workshop please send an email to:

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