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Committees > JANNAF Technical > Propellant & Explosives Development and Characterization (PEDCS)

Propellant & Explosives Development and Characterization (PEDCS) Subcommittee

Technical Objectives

  1. Conduct technical sessions, workshops, and other appropriate exchanges of technical information relative to development and characterization of propellant and explosive ingredients and formulations.
  2. Provide a forum for discussing and resolving issues involving process development in the production of propellants and explosives; guns and other devices with high gas output; solid propellant ingredients and formulations; liquid propellant production and usage; propellant surveillance and aging; and analytical methods for characterization of energetics.
  3. Maintain awareness of any problems within the Integrated High-Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technology (IHPRPT) program related to energetic materials, and suggest possible means of resolution.
  4. Maintain awareness of activities within The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) and communicate the same to other organizations as appropriate.
  5. Promote increased engagement in JANNAF by organizations that are producing and/or using energetic materials but expressed only limited interest in our activities.
  6. Discern how to take advantage of relatively highly funded areas, such as insensitive munitions (IM) and the IHPRPT program.



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. Propellant ballistic and mechanical properties and hazard evaluation tests are excluded from the scope of interest because these subjects are covered by other subcommittees.

In the area of liquid propellants, PEDCS is concerned with the development of improved methods of analysis of liquid propellants; development and characterization of new liquid engine propellants, gels, and liquid gun propellants; assessment of storage media compatibility and corrosion characteristics of various propellants, such as hydrazine-family fuels, nitrogen tetroxide, gels, and liquid gun propellants; liquid oxidizer and fuel supply status; and qualification of new or alternate suppliers. 

In the area of explosives formulation and development, PEDCS is concerned with the development, processing, qualification, and field use of explosives and new explosive formulations, including thermobaric explosives (TBXs). 

In the area of propellant and explosive process engineering, PEDCS is concerned with processing technology including measurement and characterization of rheological properties and their effect on processability, ballistics, and mechanical behavior.  Of particular interest are continuous processing of energetic materials and lessons learned in propellants and explosives manufacture. 

In the area of solid propellant ingredients, PEDCS is concerned with ingredient synthesis and production, industrial base and supplier status, chemical and physical characteristics (including reactivity), and recovery/reuse/disposal of ingredients, as well as the qualification and use of novel ingredients in propellant formulations. 

In the area of propellant surveillance and aging, PEDCS is concerned with analysis techniques for the determination of the chemical aging behavior and safe storage of solid propellants.  Of particular interest is the decomposition of solid propellants that contain nitrate esters and the autoignition risk that may result from their degradation.

In the area of guns and high gas output devices, PEDCS is concerned with new applications of existing ingredients, newly developed ingredients, propellant processing, storage, packaging, and shelf life. 

In the area of green energetic materials (GEM), PEDCS is concerned with developments in energetic ingredients, formulations, and processing technologies that permit enhanced recycle, recovery, reuse, and waste reduction during manufacture, testing, operation and demilitariza­tion; environmental/toxicological deficiencies in current energetic materials that may impact manufacture, use, or demilitarization; and modeling techniques to analyze or predict environ­mental impacts of energetic materials.  PEDCS and SEPS have joint oversight of the GEM Panel.


Mission Areas

  1. Liquid Propellants
  2. Explosives Formulation and Development
  3. Propellant and Explosives Process Engineering
  4. Solid Propellant Chemistry Test Methods
  5. Solid Propellant Ingredients and Formulations
  6. Propellant And Explosive Surveillance and Aging
  7. Gun and High Gas Output Devices
  8. Green Energetic Materials (GEM)+
    +Joint with SEPS

Click here for descriptions of each mission area.


JHU/WSE ERG Technical Representative

Mr. William A. Bagley, JHU/WSE ERG, Columbia, MD