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Developments in Additive Manufacturing of Energetic Materials at TNO



Since common energetic materials are not easily compatible with existing additive manufacturing techniques, the Energetic Materials department of TNO in the Netherlands worked closely together with the Additive Manufacturing and Material Solutions groups of TNO to develop new types of energetic material that can be processed in standard 3D printers, aiming at better performance and greater flexibility in the manufacturing of energetic products. This contribution gives an overview of potential applications for additive manufacturing of energetic materials, ranging from rocket propellants to explosives, gun propellants, and other applications. The paper then briefly describes TNO’s research efforts since 2013 into AM of energetic materials. Next, the work performed on additive manufacturing of gun propellants, using stereolithography, is described in more detail, including the results of the material development and characterization, and performance test results, including test firings with a 30 mm gun. The paper concludes with an overview of the current status of the research at TNO, as well as a definition of the next steps to be taken and a vision of the future of additive manufacturing of energetic materials.

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