Research partnership to 3D print explosives

An Iraqi Army soldier takes a firing position during the Junior Leaders Course combined arms training assessment at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq. Image via Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group has partnered with industry and academia to develop new technologies around the safety and performance of explosives.

The project will see DST Group, Australia’s leading authority on energetics materials, working with Victoria-based defence research company DefendTex, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Flinders University and Cranfield University in the UK.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, who made the announcement on Friday, said additive manufacturing or 3-D printing of energetic materials such as explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics has the potential to transform their performance and also offer significant logistical and cost benefits in their manufacture.

"This research could lead to the production of advanced weapons systems, which can be tailored for unique performance and purpose," Minister Pyne said.

"It should also allow broader access and more efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing opportunities to Australian industry providing significant cost savings and competitive advantage for Defence, and industries such as mining construction."

$2.6 million has been committed over two years through the Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) Program. 

Minister Pyne congratulated all CRC project participants and said he looks forward to the research outcomes.

"These outcomes will have far-reaching civilian and Defence applications and contribute to the development of critical expertise in energetic manufacturing techniques in Australian industry," he said.

This is not the first Defence project for which Melbourne's DefendTex has partnered with DST Group. In August last year, the SME signed a 30-month agreement with the organisation for research into energetic materials and systems.

Research partnership to 3D print explosives
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