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Multifunctional Materials for Increased Lethality Munitions

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons 

OBJECTIVE: Develop novel multifunctional materials for the next-generation munitions for the long range precision fire (LRPF) program under the Army Modernization effort to provide increased lethality and impose superiority on contested and expanded battlefield. 

DESCRIPTION: With the evolution of modern battlefields, the Army is seeking a new generation of munitions to overmatch, deter and disrupt its adversaries. The next-generation of weapons aims to provide an increased kinetic advantage over increasingly complex targets, situations and at longer distances. The development and implementation of such systems will require new multifunctional materials and components with advanced effects to maintain and further extend our troops’ superiority. The increased complexity of munitions, where target identification and guidance systems now occupy a larger portion of the warhead, has been made at the expense of the payload. The integration of reactive materials has been identified and demonstrated as a method to restore lethality by increasing the overall energy output of these enhanced munitions and improving system effectiveness. However, the integration of these materials has been limited by their mechanical properties. This topic aims at further expanding the field of structural reactive materials (SRM), where a portion of the traditional ordnance is replaced with an SRM. Such multi-purpose components offer opportunities to integrate materials of high strength and density that adds additional damage mechanism to defeat the target. The objective of this program is to develop novel SRMs with mechanical properties and density similar or superior to munition-grade steel, and capable of providing an energetic output upon initiation by detonation or high-velocity impact, while maintaining their integrity under the harsh launch conditions and flight loads resulting from the next-generation guns. Focus should also be given to the establishment of novel processing methods to ensure the rapid transition of the proposed technology into new or existing weapon systems. This proposal shall develop and demonstrate the properties of these multifunctional materials in comparison with established inert materials. The characterization will include mechanical properties such as tensile and compression strength, density and hardness. The energetic performance of the novel SRM will be characterized by experimental testing to measure energy release and warhead fragmentation 

PHASE I: Develop at least one novel SRM with a density equivalent or superior to munition-grade steel. Perform characterization experiments to establish the mechanical, thermal and energetic performance of the SRM in comparison with baseline inert material such as munitions grade steel. The minimum requirements for mechanical properties are 100 ksi tensile strength and greater than 5% elongation, while the energy release should be greater than 1500 cal/g. Conduct small scale fabrication to show manufacturing feasibility. Provide material sample to the Army POC. 

PHASE II: Further develop and optimize the SRM established in Phase I using thermodynamic analysis to achieve the best combinations of mechanical and energy release properties. Characterize mechanical properties. Measure energy release and characterize warhead case fragmentation in small scale tests, such as blast chamber testing. Scale-up the manufacturing process and produce prototypes in at least 3 configurations of interest to the Army and deliver 5 prototypes from each configuration to the Army. 

PHASE III: Transition the developed materials and related technology to a major manufacturer for incorporating this technology into next-generation munitions for the long range precision fire (LRPF) program. To further exploit the benefits of the developed technology, form partnerships with other manufacturers for applications to the civil sectors, such as the oil well and construction industries. This technology can also be leveraged to mining applications as well as applications occur in submarine blasting, breaking log jams, breaking ice jams, initiating avalanches, timber or tree cutting, the perforation of arctic sea-ice or permafrost, glacier blasting, ice breaking, and underwater demolition. 

REFERENCES: 

1: P. Redner, D. Kapoor, C. Haines, D. Martin, J. Paras, R. Carpenter, B. Travers, J. Pham, Processing and Handling of Reactive and Structural Reactive Materials, AIChE Annual Meeting, 2009.

2:  R. Zaharieva, S. Hanagud, Preliminary design of multifunctional structural-energetic materials for high density, high strength and release of high enthalpic energy, International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Technology 3 (2014) 1189-1192.

3:  https://www.darpa.mil/program/reactive-material-structures

4:  https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/9789814317665_0022

KEYWORDS: Next-generation Munition, Structural Reactive Materials, High Strength Material, High Density Reactive Material, Novel Processing Methods 

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