Propellant and Explosives Development and Characterization

The scope of PEDCS comprises work and issues associated with propellants, explosives, and other energetic formulations used in the development, manufacture, performance, and operation of weapons, propulsion systems, and gas generator devices. This subcommittee covers the technology areas required to develop, manufacture, and characterize propellants and ingredients. The manufacturing technologies of interest include mixing procedures, sampling and quality control, safety and handling practices, and the design and operation of mixing equipment. The characterization tests involve classical wet chemistry, instrumental analysis, chemical stability, compatibility, and calorimetric measurements.

The 42nd Propellant and Explosives Development and Characterization Subcommittee sessions will be organized into the topic areas described below. Please submit your abstract according to the interest area.

PEDCS Mission Areas

Areas of interest included in the Call for Papers are:

Mission Area I: Liquid Propellants

Dr. Benjamin Greene, Jacobs Technology, Incorporated / Las Cruces, NM
Telephone:  (575) 524-5761

Papers are sought on research, development, and improvement of methods of analysis of liquid propellants; development and characterization of new and existing liquid engine and gun propellants; assessment of materials compatibility and reactivity with various propellants including hydrazine fuels, dinitrogen tetroxide oxidizers, gels, ionic and other monopropellants, and liquid gun propellants. Also of interest is the evaluation of liquid propellant supply status and qualification of new or alternate suppliers.

Mission Area II: Explosive Development and Characterization

Dr. Mark H. Mason, Jr., Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division / China Lake, CA
Telephone:  (760) 939-4330

Development, characterization and testing of explosives to improve ordnance reliability and increase lethal effects. Topics of interest include reactive materials, increased metal acceleration, air-blast performance, as well as advances in the study of initiation and growth of detonation events. Abstracts especially sought in the following areas:

  • Improving reliability by understanding initiation via experiments to understand James-Space
  • Experimental or theoretical studies to understand thermal initiation of detonation
  • The use of detonation wave merging to increase warhead or fuze performance
  • Characterization of additively manufactured explosives
  • Novel high performance formulations
  • Novel high performance explosive chemical ingredients

Mission Area III: Propellant and Explosives Process Engineering

Dr. Jamie B. Neidert, CCDC Aviation & Missile Center / Redstone Arsenal, AL
Telephone:  (256) 876-5455

Mr. Charles R. Painter, Naval Surface Warfare Center IHEODTD / Indian Head, MD
Telephone:  (301) 744-6772

Papers are sought in the areas of propellant and energetic formulation development and processing technology. Additional areas of interest include the measurement and characterization of rheological properties such as viscosity, yield stress, pot life/gelation time, cure rate, and viscoelasticity and their effect on properties such as processability, ballistics, and mechanical behavior. Of particular interest are the continuous processing of energetic materials and lessons-learned in propellants and explosives manufacture. Novel propellant processing topics are also solicited.

Mission Area IV: Energetic Materials Characterization and Raw Material Obsolescence

Mr. Christopher A. Marshall, CCDC Aviation & Missile Center / Redstone Arsenal, AL
Telephone:  (256) 842-0094

Areas of interest include chemical and combustion test methods to analyze and characterize energetic materials and their formulations including solid and liquid propellants, warheads, pyrotechnics, fuses, and initiators, especially those pertaining to tactical and strategic propellants and associated energetics that contain novel ingredients; modifications of current test methods or alternate procedures that minimize/eliminate the use of ozone depleting solvents or other adverse organic chemicals; statistics of sample selection; techniques of sample preparation; methods development for microcalorimeter instruments, gun propellant, and rocket propellant; and related subjects. A newly added focus will be an emphasis to document and track on-going propellant and warhead raw material obsolescence and related testing of new replacement materials.

Mission Area V: Solid Propellant Ingredients and Formulations

Dr. Gregory W. Drake, CCDC Aviation & Missile Center / Redstone Arsenal, AL
Telephone:  (256) 842-0647

Dr. Nirupam J. Trivedi, CCDC Army Research Laboratory / Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Telephone:  (410) 306-3108

Identification of advances and challenges in the area of solid propellant ingredients and formulations with emphasis on ingredient synthesis and production, industrial base and supplier status, chemical, structural and physical characteristics (including reactivity), and recovery, reuse, and disposal of ingredients as well as the qualification and use of new and novel ingredients in propellant formulations.

Mission Area VI: Propellant and Explosive Surveillance and Aging

Dr. Kerry A. Clark, Naval Surface Warfare Center IHEODTD / Indian Head, MD
Telephone:  (301) 744-4273

Papers are sought on analysis techniques for the determination of the chemical aging behavior and safe storage of solid propellants. Of particular interest are the decomposition of solid propellants that contain nitrate esters and the autoignition risk that may result from their degradation.

Mission Area VII: Gun Propulsion

Dr. Kirstin F. Warner, DoD Explosive Safety Board / Alexandria, VA
Telephone:  (571) 375-6774

Ms. Christine D. Knott, Naval Surface Warfare Center IHEODTD / Indian Head, MD
Telephone:  (301) 744-2555

Research in the areas of formulation and processing of propellants and associated components (igniters, case and packaging materials, etc.) for use in gun propulsion. This can include new compositions, new ingredient development, novel geometries and structures, propellant development protocols, performance diagnostics, aging and shelf life, increased performance, reduced wear and erosion, as well as insensitive munitions response.

Mission Area VIII: Green Energetic Materials (GEM) Joint PEDCS - SEPS Mission Area

Mr. Noah Lieb, Jensen Hughes / Baltimore, MD
Telephone:  (410) 737-8677

Dr. Jesse J. Sabatini, CCDC Army Research Laboratory / Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Telephone:  (410) 278-0235

Dr. Sara K. Pliskin, Naval Surface Warfare Center / Crane, IN
Telephone:  (812) 854-3190

Papers are sought on the development of environmentally sustainable energetic ingredients, formulations, and processing technologies with an emphasis on the following: reduction of impacts from energetic materials and unexploded ordnance on military ranges, manufacturing and demilitarization facilities; enhancement of recycling, recovery, reuse and reduction of waste; and response to specific impacts that environmental regulations have had on military readiness, such as limiting training with live ordnance, outsourcing of manufacturing overseas or explicit banning of the use of specific materials.

Propellant and Explosives Development and Characterization Subcommittee Chair

Mr. Chuck Davis, NASA / Kennedy Space Center, FL
Telephone:  (321) 867-4748

JHU WSE ERG Technical Representative

Mr. William A. Bagley, JHU WSE ERG / Columbia, MD
Telephone:  (410) 718-5009