Defense and explosives research

In the field of defense and explosives research, the main focus is on the implementation of explosives, from characterization and qualification, modeling and simulation through to system development.

Modeling and simulation

Using simplified chemical-physical descriptions, modeling and simulation provide insights into the behavior of the energetic systems investigated, and make predictions based on these findings. This leads to a deeper system knowledge and the possibility to adjust the system to the desired applications. In addition, special evaluation models support experimental tasks concerning qualification and characterization, and provide information about physical quantities that are not directly measurable. This gives rise to new possibilities for system description and characterization.

Service portfolio

  • Modeling of ignition, reaction and radiation behavior during the reaction of energetic materials
  • Modeling of particulate reactive systems such as thermites and solid rocket propellants
  • Modeling and simulation of the system-oriented reaction behavior of propellants and explosives, with an emphasis on interior ballistics
  • Development and application of assessment models for combustion investigations
  • Development of tailored software for ballistic applications
© Fraunhofer ICT

Qualification and characterization competences

© Fraunhofer ICT

Core research topics include characterization of the reaction, and performance and safety investigations of propellants, explosives and systems. Besides standardized tests, we work closely with our customers to develop and perform tailored tests with set-ups and measurement technologies adapted to specific requirements.

Service portfolio

  • Spectroscopy of combustion processes
  • Experimental interior ballistic characterization of the reaction properties of propellants and explosives
  • Characterization of explosives with regard to performance and sensitivity, in the detonation chamber / bunker or on open-air test sites
  • Reaction control and quality management of energetic materials

Energetic system components

The results of the basic characterization, modeling and simulation form the basis for the application-specific design, dimensioning and production of energetic systems and system components. The performance of the systems is characterized using sophisticated measurement processes, based either on existing or on customer-specific tests.

Service portfolio

  • Development, characterization and testing of pyrotechnic compounds
  • Investigation of novel liquid, gel-like and solid rocket propellants for civil and defense applications
  • Investigation of reactive metal multi-layered systems for defense applications
  • Non-lethal weapons based on kinetic, acoustic, chemical or mechanical effects
  • Sheet metal forming based on gas generators
© Fraunhofer ICT

Facilities and equipment

© Fraunhofer ICT

Our infrastructure enables investigations from laboratory scale up to the kilogram range. The facilities and equipment available include: detonation chamber (up to 2 kg TNT equivalent), shooting range (100m in length), rocket test stand (up to 200 kN thrust), open-air testing range, and inherently safe test stands with a range of equipment. These are used especially for the simulation of failure and the assessment of worst-case scenarios.

  • Optical and ballistic pressure bombs
  • High-speed camera systems
  • Rapid spectroscopy from UV to MIR and Raman
  • Fast data acquisition (including pressure, thrust, temperature)
  • Long and short firearms, specially equipped test guns (up to medium-caliber)
  • Detonation chambers