Advanced Energetic Materials

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Advanced energetic materials‚€"explosive fill and propellants‚€"are a critical technology for national security. While several new promising concepts and formulations have emerged in recent years, the Department of Defense is concerned about the nation‚€™s ability to maintain and improve the knowledge base in this area. To assist in addressing these concerns, two offices within DOD asked the NRC to investigate and assess the scope and health of the U.S. R&D efforts in energetic materials. This report provides that assessment. It presents several findings about the current R&D effort and recommendations aimed at improving U.S. capabilities in developing new energetic materials technology.

This study reviewed U.S. research and development in advanced energetics being conducted by DoD, the DoE national laboratories, industries, and academia, from a list provided by the sponsors. It also: (a) reviewed papers and technology assessments of non-U.S. work in advanced energetics, assessed important parameters, such as validity, viability, and the likelihood that each of these materials can be produced in quantity; (b) identified barriers to scale-up and production, and suggested technical approaches for addressing potential problems; and (c) suggested specific opportunities, strategies, and priorities for government sponsorship of technologies and manufacturing process development.

 

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Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1
1 INTRODUCTION
5
2 NEW ENERGETIC MATERIALS
8
3 THERMOBARIC EXPLOSIVES
16
4 REACTIVE MATERIALS
20
5 NANOMIXTURES AND NANOCOMPOSITES
24
6 ADVANCED GUN PROPELLANTS
28
7 EXOTIC PHYSICS
35
8 MAJOR CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
37
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Page 1 - Agency (CSA) means agencies of the Executive Branch that have been authorized by EO 12829 to establish an industrial security program for the purpose of safeguarding classified information under the jurisdiction of those agencies when disclosed or released to US industry. These agencies are the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Page vii - The committee conducted five information-gathering meetings at which it received presentations from the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Central Intelligence Agency and from academic and industrial organizations (see Appendix B, "Meeting Agendas").