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Development of a Low Strain-Rate Gun Propellant Bed Compression Test and its Use in Evaluating Mechanical Response

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Technical Report

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Defence Science and Technology Group Edinburgh SA Australia

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The mechanical integrity of the propellant bed is a key factor in safe and consistent gun performance. To inform in this regard, a low strain-rate bed compression test was developed, primarily for use at low temperatures and, in conjunction with the time-temperature superposition principle, to simulate the high strain rates that exist in the gun chamber during ignition. A range of single-base propellants was used to determine the appropriate test temperature, strain rate and maximum load to, as close as possible, simulate the mechanical response of the propellant bed during ignition in the gun. Results of this testing are given in terms of visual fracture categorisation, applied stress versus bed density, relative vivacity following burning of crushed and reference samples and stress relaxation. Artificial ageing programs were also employed to develop relationships between propellant mechanical integrity and propellant molecular weight distributions as a function of age.

Subject Categories:

  • Ammunition and Explosives

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