Army scientists are on the trail of new high-performing energetic materials.
Scientists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory recently synthesized a new material called bis-isoxazole tetranitrate, or BITN, with potential applications in propulsion and lethality.
"BITN has a strong potential for improving insensitive munitions characteristics for gun and rocket propellants" said Dr. Jesse J. Sabatini, team leader of the Energetics Synthesis Team within ARL's Weapons and Materials Research Directorate.
Insensitive munitions are chemically stable enough to withstand mechanical shocks, fire and impact by shrapnel, but still explode as intended to destroy their targets, he said.
The Joint Insensitive Munitions Technology Program funds efforts to improve response to several scenarios, such as slow cook-off, bullet and fragment impact.
"It's been extremely challenging due to the bulk of sensitive energetic ingredients typically used in many of these munitions," Sabatini said.