University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group > UK MoD Ignition Studies Towards Large Calibre Gun System Applications

UK MoD Ignition Studies Towards Large Calibre Gun System Applications

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The UK, along with French, German and Swedish governments have embarked on an extensive research programme to investigate ignition phenomena related to military gun applications. Of particular interest is the ignition of new insensitive propellant compositions, which are being designed to bring benefits in terms of platform survivability in the event of a penetrative attack on the charge stowage area. The use of electrothermal plasma has been considered as an option for advanced igniter solutions. However, the technical complexity of these systems currently outweighs the benefits. A UK study of the interaction between the plasma and the energetic propellant material has highlighted some important energy transfer mechanisms which have hitherto been overlooked. These exchange mechanisms may allow the use of binary thermite powders to emulate electrothermal plasma but at a much reduced level of technical complexity. This lecture presents the underlying theories recently developed to explain the plasma/propellant interaction and cutting-edge work towards development of new thermite igniters.

This talk is part of the Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group series.

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