Insensitive High Energy Propellants for Advanced Gun Concepts

Report No. ARL-TR-2584
Authors: Albert W. Horst, Patrick J. Baker, Betsy M. Rice, Pamela J. Kaste, Joseph W. Colburn, Jennifer J. Hare
Date/Pages: October 2001; 48 pages
Abstract: In recent years, substantial improvements in the performance of solid propellant guns have resulted from the development of higher energy propellants, higher loading density propellant charge configurations, and propellant geometries and concepts that have provided the progressively increasing gas generation rates required to efficiently use available increases in total energy. Unfortunately, these same features also typically lead to increases in ammunition vulnerability to enemy threats. Coupled with the current interest in much lighter fighting vehicles, the need for ammunition with reduced rather than increased sensitivity is obvious. This report describes the development of a new approach in the U.S. Army to address propellant energy/ performance and sensitivity/vulnerability as a single set of critical design requirements, to be addressed concurrently from the very beginning of the new energetic material research and development cycle. Some elements of this work were presented in abbreviated form at the 19th International Symposium on Ballistics in Interlaken, Switzerland in May 2001.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2001