Additive Manufacturing of Energetic Materials

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Chiroli, M.
Ciszek, F.
Baschung, B.

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University of Texas at Austin


Over the last decade, additive manufacturing gained a lot of interest within the defense industry. However, printing energetic materials such as explosives or solid propellants remains a challenge. A research work with the aim to suggest appropriate materials and associated 3D printing techniques to produce energetic materials, is currently carried out. In interior ballistics, improved weapon performance ends in reaching higher muzzle kinetic energy. This can be achieved by adjusting the gas pressure released during the ballistic cycle by using specific propellant grains. A former study (Baschung, MRS Symposium H, Boston, 2005) highlighted the advantages of using co-layered propellant grains to achieve this goal. The difficulties in producing such kind of propellants can now be bypassed thanks to 3D printers. Our approach consists in deposing a viscous energetic paste, containing a solvent, with an adapted machine. The layer formation and the adhesion between them are investigated in this work.


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