Defects - Causes, Classification and Criticality

msiac-workshop-location-icon Virtual Plenary Session
msiac-workshop-calendar-icon 09-03-2021 to 11-03-2021

Due to risk associated with ongoing travel restrictions, the plenary session of the Defects Workshop will now be held as a virtual meeting between the 9th and 11th of March 2021 using the GoToMeeting platform. We are once again accepting workshop registrations and abstract submissions.

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 2021 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)



Virtual Plenary Session

The Defects Workshop virtual plenary session will take place over three working days from the 9th to the 11th March 2021, between 1400hrs and 1800hrs Central European Time (CET), using the GoToMeeting platform.
Each day will consist of a number of presentations on one of the following topics:
  • Origin of Defects
  • Detection of Defects
  • Consequences of Defects
  • Criticality of Defects

All efforts will be made to group presentations on similar topics, however this is somewhat dependent on the availability of presenters in different time zones.

Follow-Up Technical Meeting

Based on the outcome of the Plenary Session, MSIAC will explore the possibility of hosting a small in-person follow-up technical meeting later in 2021. This will be dependent on ongoing travel restrictions. The intent of the follow-up technical meeting is to allow an in-depth discussion on those issues highlighted by the plenary session as being of greatest interest to the community. More details will follow upon successful completion of the Plenary Session.


Call for papers

We encourage those who are interested in attending to submit abstracts for presentation as soon as possible. Please submit your abstract by completing the form below, or alternatively by emailing it to:

Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in duration (plus 5 minutes for questions). To ensure the smooth running of the workshop, the time limit will be strictly enforced. Abstract submission will remain open until 31st December 2020. Please let us know us if you are waiting on clearance for your material. It is not necessary to submit a technical paper along with your presentation, but we are happy to receive such submissions - please indicate if you intend to do so. 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 in good time, and no later than 15th January 2021. 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.



Registration for the Virtual Plenary Session 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). Limits/Limitations The Virtual Plenary Session will be limited to 100 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.



The workshop will be held online using the GoToMeeting platform. Details on how to join will be sent out to delegates prior to the meeting. There are several ways to join the meeting:
  • The GoToMeeting application on Mac OSX, Windows and mobile (i.e. tablets and phone) - NB this needs to be downloaded so may not be possible if there are restrictions on your system
  • In-browser (Chrome is preferred) - this does not require downloading any software and should therefore function on most systems.
  • Dial-in by phone - NB this provides the least functionality.

A webcam is not required to join the meeting, but speakers and microphone are required. To check if your system is capable of running GoToMeeting visit:



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.