Cased Telescoped Ammunition Smart Seal Development

Period of Performance: 02/20/2003 - 02/21/2006


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mechanical Solutions, Inc.
11 Apollo Drive Array
Whippany, NJ 07981
Principal Investigator


Short ammunition-feed swing chambers and efficient on-vehicle ammunition storage, consistent with Cased Telescoped Ammunition (CTA), will facilitate the Army's Force Transformation, through lighter vehicles required by the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program for the Objective Force. Sealing of propellant gases hampers application of CTA. Phase I Modeling and Simulation Studies (design, analysis, manufacture, and testing of concept prototypes) demonstrated that MSI's Nitinol C-ring seal (NICRS) concept has likelihood of success in FCS application. The Objective Force Capabilities must be responsive, deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable, and sustainable. In close cooperation with ARDEC, MSI's Phase II Nitinol seal development will support these objectives, achieving zero-emission sealing, ejection ease, field tolerance, and minimum cost (under $5). Nitinol seals will be fabricated, ballistically tested, and revised to meet Army requirements. A final prototype will be drafted and manufactured, with production procedures optimized versus cost by MSI, ARDEC, and the selected manufacturer APC. APC has been contracted because of its excellent experience in seal manufacture and Nitinol seal R&D. It is expected that seal designs achieving stated CTA goals will apply to other munitions, e.g. the medium range munition (MRM) packages for the Multi-Role Armament and Ammunition System (MRAAS) for FCS, and mortar projectiles.The product of this prototype development will directly benefit the U.S. Military in its Future Combat Systems (FCS) effort. MSI, with contracted support from major seal manufacturer APC, will overcome the challenge of producing an effective Nitinol seal within acceptable cost and production parameters. MSI's successful seal design for CTA ammunition will greatly contribute to the goal of lighter more efficient weapon systems, as well as provide a viable seal option for various high-temperature & pressure sealing applications such as the advanced Kinetic Energy (KE) projectiles, Medium Range Munition (MRM) for FCS, artillery and mortar projectiles, essentially for ammunition using conventional or Electro-Thermal Chemical (ETC) propulsion systems. The knowledge base accumulated by MSI in its success with Nitinol in the sudden temperature rise and sonic strain rates involved in CTA application will allow MSI to offer designs for other applications in aerospace, automotive, and industrial actuation. The proposed Nitinol C-ring seal (NICRS) design will apply in any situation where temperature, pressure, or loading are extreme or may rapidly change, such as in plastic injection molding, and in gas turbines.