Hybrid Energetic Materials System

Period of Performance: 09/30/2011 - 09/30/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Gunger Engineering LLC
207 Crystal Ct.
Niceville, FL 32578
Principal Investigator


Most munitions use organic explosives to produce effects that produce damage to critical components of the target. Organic explosives must be used in a narrow range of density and produce peak pressures far above what is required to damage the target. Hybrid energetic materials can be formulated to sustain reactions at very low density over large volumes to produce a wide range of effects from very low to very high pressures. By increasing volume with a constant mass of material, it is possible to produce a very large total pressure impulse. Pressure impulse is the major damage mechanism for a wide range of military targets. In addition, the inorganic components of hybrid energetic materials are capable of producing much higher specific energy than conventional organic explosives. The attributes of hybrid energetic material have not been exploited because of material availability and cost. This is partly ameliorated by improved production methods and the use of precision weapons that minimize the number of munitions needed to reach the desired effects. The proposed work will apply the weaponization and experimental methods defined and developed in the Phase I effort to the definition, design, and development of a hybrid energetic material system munition concept. Such a munition will provide our war fighters with the additional flexibility of a high impulse, low collateral damage weapon with effects tailored by varying the density of the energetic at the time of initiation. Potentially, such a weapon will reduce the munition mass needed to defeat a given target. Commercial applications include demolition and pyrotechnic systems. High-density versions could also be used in metal brazing and welding applications.