The European Defence Agency (EDA) is sponsoring a seven-state project to research using additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, to structure and shape propellant grains in new ways to boost the range and velocity of ammunition and other ordnance.
The EUR3.5 million (USD3.9 million) Additive Manufacturing Techniques for Energetic Materials (AMTEM) project aims to identify “which kinds of propellant lend themselves to 3D techniques and which don’t, and then how to shape those that do for the best results,” an EDA source told Jane’s on 5 July.
Among the biggest challenges facing the group are safety issues. For example, all electro-static energy will have to be captured and diverted away from the printer head where there must be no friction.
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