Development and implementation of the new fuze will also have environmental and safety benefits.
Practical implementation of this technology will enable the military to reduce the quantity of sensitive primary explosives in each weapon by at least two orders of magnitude, said Gerald R. Laib, senior explosives applications scientist at Indian Head and inventor of the MEMS Fuze concept. This development will also vastly reduce the use of toxic heavy metals and waste products, and increase the safety of weapon production by removing the need for handling bulk quantities of sensitive primary explosives.
The next step will be for Indian Head to integrate all the components of the fuze into the smallest possible package and then begin producing the device in large quantities.
A specialist in metallic and ceramic cellular materials, Nadler said the challenge of the project was creating structures porous enough to be chemically converted in a consistent way while retaining sufficient mechanical strength to withstand processing and remain stable in finished devices.
The ability to design things on multiple size scales at the same time is very important, he added. Designing materials on the nano-scale, micron-scale and even the millimeter-scale simultaneously as a system is very powerful and challenging. When these different length scales are available, a whole new world of capabilities opens up.
|Contact: John Toon|
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News