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Innovative Marking Technology for Hand Grenades

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons 

OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative technology and/or process that will provide legible and robust marking on various hand grenade bodies (shapes and materials), with initial focus on XM111 

DESCRIPTION: The body of the XM111 Offensive Hand Grenade has a unique shape and designated material (Noryl N190X), which makes the body challenging to mark with legible and robust marking. Currently, the XM111 is in development and the current developmental marking method is through manual pad printing application which is a slow, inconsistent method requiring post process steps to clean overspray and smudges. Pad printing also does not result in a durable and robust solution for lifecycle use. Market research on currently available methods has not identified any existing method that would meet all requirements of the XM111. Therefore, a new and innovative process/product is needed that will meet legibility and durability requirements of the XM111; and reduce or eliminate the preparation required prior to marking the bodies (e.g. necessary pretreatment and cleaning), post processing, and inconsistent legibility of text. Additionally, the new technology/process shall not require complex automation or equipment so as to keep capital investment and follow-on production costs low, and shall be compatible with marking explosively loaded items (i.e. shall not require high heat). Markings are expected to remain legible for at least 20 years while experiencing a storage temperature range of -65 deg F to 165 deg F. Assuming success, the technology/process may also be applied to other grenade munitions to include the M82 and L96/97. 

PHASE I: Study various printing/marking technologies and processes that will meet product requirements, resulting in a recommendation of final technology/process(es). Representative samples of the grenade body (inert) will be subject to the new technology/process and tested per standard evaluation techniques, to include acetone and spackle knife tests. A final report will document results of the testing as well as process parameters such as pre and post processing requirements, equipment and supplies/materials required, expected throughput, and overall cost. Phase I option will include delivery of the initial System Requirement Specification (SRS) which will annotate technical requirements and verification methods. The SRS shall be approved by the government. 

PHASE II: Mature the technology and/or process to scale-up to meet the up to 50,000 units per month throughput rate. Demonstrate a pilot production line that meets required production rates (using inert samples). Test samples from the production line to ensure products meet performance requirements. Submit a final report documenting the production process and parameters, including equipment/supplies required, test results, and recommendations for further process refinement. The final Phase II pilot production line shall be delivered to the Government to a site TBD. 

PHASE III: The objective goal of this SBIR project is to integrate the resulting technology/process in a government load-assembly-pack (LAP) facility, therefore it is important that the capital costs associated with implementing the results be kept at a minimum. This technology has widespread commercial applicability with any product with complex shapes requiring robust yet affordable marking techniques. 

REFERENCES: 

1: A Basic Overview of the Pad Printing Process, Peter Kiddell http://www.epsvt.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/1.Articles_A%20basic%20overview%20of%20the%20pad%20printing%20process.pdf

2:  NORYL N190X material property datasheet, Matweb, http://www.matweb.com/ and enter "SABIC NORYL N190X" in the search box

3:  PEO Ammunition Systems Portfolio Book, 2012-2013, pages 97-109, http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA567897

4:  MIL-STD-810G

5:  https://www.atec.army.mil/publications/Mil-Std-810G/Mil-Std-810G.pdf

CONTACT(S): 

Vincent matrisciano 

(973) 724-2765 

Vincent.r.matrisciano.civ@mail.mil 

Matthew Hall 

(973) 724-8516 

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