Pouring and Casting
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems – Canada’s (GD-OTS Canada) expertise with production pouring and casting of TNT based explosives dates back to World War II and covers the filling of different calibers of fragmentation projectiles and shaped charges. GD-OTS Canada also developed expertise Dinitroanisole (DNAN) based less sensitive melt pour high explosive formulations since 2002.
The cooling step in both facilities is automated to provide a better control of this critical operation. In addition, GD-OTS Canada also has a pilot plant laboratory equipped with a 20 US gallons kettle and a cooling station very representative of the production equipments. The use of instrumented shells and cooling station hooked up to data acquisition system enables the study of the cooling behavior of the cast explosive in the different shell designs. This equipment is used to optimize the pre-heating and cooling processes to make them more robust for new products and type of explosives through design of experiments. Computer simulations of the process can also be run to improve the knowledge and orient the work at the beginning of the filling method development or to improve it if required.
Handling and Loading of Insensitive Munition (IM)
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems – Canada’s (GD-OTS Canada) involvement with Insensitive Munitions (IM) including ignition systems, propulsion systems and high explosives dates back to the 1980’s. General processing expertise was developed in the area of cast-cure Plastic Bonded Explosives (PBX) based on nitramines (RDX and HMX) in a polymeric binder with Canadian, American, British and French formulations. Work on this type of explosive can be performed in either our laboratory 2 US gallons or pilot plant 10 US gallons planetary type mixers and ancillary equipment to mix and cast PBX formulations under vacuum for conventional batch type processing as well as in a bi-component processing equipment based on a static mixer.
While IM testing is generally subcontracted to other facilities, GD-OTS Canada is currently developing its expertise in this area. Bullet impact and sympathetic detonation can currently be conducted by GD-OTS Canada personnel. GD-OTS Canada’s past expertise in this area was acquired with 57mm Pre-Fragmented High Explosive (PFHE) and 105mm tank Multi-Purpose High Explosive (MPHE) rounds. The 120mm mortar development of enhanced insensitive munitions with a cast cure explosive formulation has been achieved successfully with the US Army and other companies leading to the qualification of the M934A2 ammunition. Work is on-going on the qualification of a 105mm PGU IM ammunition under contract from US SOCOM. GD-OTS Canada showed its capabilities to load, assemble and produce 60 and 81mm mortars using IMX-104 explosive as well as the 120mm IM HE-T with PAX-48.