Energetic Materials

Energetic Materials uses a combination of theoretical, model-based and experimental research in the development, processing, use and behaviour of energetic materials and formulations. We assist customers with purposeful and efficient solutions of their problems with energetic materials in the area of composition, safety and security, storage and transport, reliability, lifetime, detection, production, processing, cost, environment and disposal.

Energetic materials are solid, liquid or gaseous substances - or mixtures of these - which are capable of very fast chemical reactions without the use of additional reactive species (e.g. oxygen). The reaction can be initiated by means of mechanical, thermal or shock wave stimuli. Generally the reaction products are gaseous. Energetic materials can be applied in explosives, rocket and gun propellants, pyrotechnics, gas generators etc. A combination of theoretical, model-based and experimental research has provided EM with a unique expertise in the development, processing, use and behaviour of energetic materials and formulations.


The sub-technologies we are working on in the field of energetic materials are very broad: From the properties of energetic materials themselves to the storage and transportation of energetic materials.
We distinguish ourselves - internationally as well - through the broad range of sub-technologies and the strong internal cohesion of the subtechnologies and the integration with other subtechnologies. The expertise of EM enables us to answer the following questions: How can we process materials in a safe, environmentally friendly and cost-effective way in order to develop new formulations with improved properties?What are the precise properties of energetic materials and how can these be determined?How do energetic materials function and behave in their 'environment' and how can we make the manufacturing processes of munition and the industry intrinsically safer?


45 mm co-rotating twin screw extruder

EM has the facilities to develop prototypes and to carry out the (pre)production of energetic formulations, which include processing techniques at laboratory level up to the average user level.
The characterisation of the properties and the behaviour of energetic materials require extensive facilities. EM has these facilities, such as high-quality equipment, a large variety of physical/chemical analysis techniques, and all relevant diagnostics techniques.

Remarkable topics and projects EM is working in are amongst others:

  • Lifetime assessment and prediction of EM;
  • Environmental aspects (e.g. green munitions);
  • Insensitive munitions and LOVA;
  • Behaviour of unexploded objects;
  • Safety of fireworks;
  • Detection of energetic materials;
  • Dangerous goods and safe working environment.
Our work

XP-DITE - Checkpoint Design Integration and Evaluation

XP-DITE (Accelerated Checkpoint Design Integration Test and Evaluation) aims to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive, passenger-centred, outcome-focused, system-level approach to the design and evaluation... Read more

Expertise groups

70 years of Defence Research

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