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Lifetime prediction of ammunition at TNO Prins Maurits Laboratory

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Author: Leenders, A.P.M. · Driel, C.A. van · Klerk, W.P.C. de · Keizers, H.L.J.
Publisher: TNO
Place: Rijswijk
Institution: TNO Prins Maurits Laboratorium
Source:Proceedings 27th International Pyrotechnics Seminar, Grand Junction, CO, USA, 16-21 July 2000
Identifier: 131540
Keywords: Ammunition · Explosives · Life (durability) · Aging (metallurgy) · Gun propellants · Pyrotechnics · Magnesium


TNO-PML is an independent R & D organisation, with the Dutch MoD as its most important customer. In 1993, the ‘Lifetime prediction of ammunition’ research programme, funded by the MoD, was started at TNO-PML. One of the reasons for starting this programme was the economical profit that can be made when ammunition deterioration processes are fully understood and shelf-life can be predicted. This knowledge is extremely useful to obtain a good overview of the expected life cycle costs: • during the purchase phase: comparison of the expected lifetime of the ammunition from different suppliers; • how and when to perform periodic inspection during maintenance; • during and after ‘out-of-area’ operations: one needs to know whether the ammunition will function properly; • once the guaranteed lifetime has expired, it is paramount to know whether the ammunition can still function well and safely for a few more years. Within TNO-PML, several research groups work together in the field of ageing of pyrotechnic munition, gun propellants and missiles. In this paper, the general approach to lifetime prediction is presented first. Some examples of projects performed on behalf of the Dutch MoD are given in this paper.