Advances in High Energy Materials (Review Paper)

U. R. Nair, S. N. Asthana, A. Subhananda Rao, B. R. Gandhe


Research and development efforts for realizing higher performance levels of high energy materials (HEMs) are continued unabated all over the globe. Of late, it is becoming increasingly necessary to ensure that such materials are also eco-friendly. This has provided thrust to research in the area of force multiplying HEMs and compounds free from pollution causing components. Enhancement of the performance necessitates introduction of strained structure or increase in oxygen balance to achieve near stoichiometry. The search for environment friendly molecules is focused on chlorine free propellant compositions and lead free primary explosives. Energetic polymers offer added advantage of partitioning of energy and thus not necessitating the concentration of only solid components (HEMs and metal fuels) in the formulations, to achieve higher performance, thereby leading to improvement in energetics without adversely affecting the processability and mechanical properties. During recent times, research in the area of insensitive explosives has received impetus particularly with the signature of STANAG. This paper gives a review of the all-round advances in the areas of HEMs encompassing oxidizers, high-energy dense materials, insensitive high-energy materials, polymers and plasticizers. Selected formulations based on these materials are also included.

Defence Science Journal, 2010, 60(2), pp.137-151, DOI:


HEMs, performance, insensitive, explosives, propellants, high energy materials, green energetic materials, trinitrotoluene, cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine

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Defence Science Journal (DSJ)