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US Navy developing 3D printable energetics (propellants, explosives)

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  • US Navy developing 3D printable energetics (propellants, explosives)

    Originally posted by NRL_Energy_Warrior_TV

    Printable Explosives? The Latest in Additive Manufacturing
    Published on 31 May 2016

    What if you could print explosives when and where you needed them? Scientists at Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake are exploring this possibility, its process, and how it would work.

    "Ideally, we would fully develop an end item and then we could send that out to the fleet and they would be able to print them," said Dr. Andrew Ihnen, material scientist at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.

    The impact is getting products/weapons to our warfighters faster, production stability, and independence from the logistics trail.

    "Things that I couldn't imagine doing five years ago are now possible," said Dr. Jeff Davis, Head of Energetics Research Division at China Lake. "Ten years from now, who knows what it's going to look like. We are just scratching the surface."



  • #2
    You have to wonder what the advantages would be over explosives/propellants produced on conventional production lines via conventional processes. As far as I can see you'd still have to transport the raw materials to the printers wherever they were located, so I don't necessarily see it being a big advantage in terms of logistics. Printed parts and components for weapons, vehicles and equipment yes. Explosives not so much and that is because the you could in theory transport a few different types of bulk metallic/polymer powders etc and via an on-site printing produce literally thousands of different components on demand for hundreds of different systems.

    With explosives etc all you can print is, well a strictly limited range explosives - the process is still basically linear i.e. the number of different 'outputs' vs inputs is limited. If they are more energetic all to the good but if so printing them at the factory back home still basically makes as much sense as doing it closer to the 'front' or wherever.
    Last edited by Monash; 25 Feb 21,, 11:37.
    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.