Energetic Materials

The Energetic Materials Department is concerned with all aspects of the development, manufacture and application of propellants and explosives. Beside defense applications, security research is becoming increasingly important in the civil sector.

Research areas in the Energetic Materials Department


Synthesis of explosives

The synthesis of explosives generates new, energetic substances for the research and development of solid propellants, explosives and gun propellants, and provides samples for security research. It ensures an independent supply of energetic substances for research and development work.


Propellants for rockets and guns

This research group covers the entire spectrum in the development of propellants for rockets and guns. Current developments range from gel propellants, novel propellants for space applications, powerful plastic bind gun propellants and porous propellants through to REACH-compatible substitute materials.


Gas generators, pyrotechnics and explosives

In this research group, gas generator propellants and explosives are developed for defense and civil applications. Research topics include airbag applications, underwater rescue systems, insensitive high-performance explosives, plastic-bonded explosives charges and underwater explosives.


Particle technology

In the area of particle technology, Fraunhofer ICT has many years of experience in the targeted modification of energetic materials.  This includes comminution and micronization, spraying and emulsion crystallization, particle coating and the synthesis of co-crystals.


Process analysis and development of measurement technology

In this research area, rapid spectroscopic and calorimetric measurement technologies are developed and applied in inline and online process analysis, for the design, diagnostics and control of chemical processes, and for the characterization of rapid reactions.


Chemical process technology & flow chemistry

In the research area of chemical process development, the synthesis and processing of energetic materials and fine chemicals are performed up to pilot scale. Emphasis is placed on continuous microprocessing and supercritical process technologies.


Safety and security research

A key topic in safety and security research is the detection of hazardous substances. Our research topics range from trace and bulk detection and the development of sensor materials and simulants through to the certification of detection systems and new concepts for the design of future airport check points.


Test center for explosives detection systems

In the test center, which is operated with the German Federal Police and commissioned by the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), detection systems are tested and certified for use in European airports. Our testing portfolio also includes support services for manufacturers in the development and fine-tuning of their detection components and methods.


Fire and flame protection

For fire protection, novel coating materials and high-temperature insulations are developed which, swell at increased temperatures, for example, or make use of cooling processes. In flame protection, the replacement of halogen-containing systems is the focus of research.


Nanoporous materials

Nanoporous materials are developed and manufactured in the form of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Emphasis is placed on application in sensors, separation technology, gas storage and catalysis.


Training of detection dogs

In addition to our many years of expertise in handling explosives, we offer various training opportunities for explosives detection dogs. Using so-called differentiation tracks, dogs can be conditioned to detect new substances at various difficulty levels.