3D Printing Energetics for Gun Propulsion Technology

David Bird, Elbert Caravaca, Joseph Laquidara, Nathan Peabody, Christopher Houthuysen, Nuggehalli M. Ravindra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The US Army has been exploring additively manufactured (AM) energetic formulations over recent years with the key benefits being safer energetic material handling and improved ballistic performance. The US Department of Defense (US DoD) researchers are examining areas in which three-dimensional printing (3DP) and energetic materials overlap in the fields of gun propulsion, explosives, and pyrotechnics. Innovative 3DP formulations, incorporating legacy energetic materials, and novel energetic 3DP molecules are candidates for improving the overall system performance and optimizing for lethality and accuracy, demonstrating the US Army’s commitment to performance for future capability growth. A synergy between formulation and printing technique has led to understanding the design space for gun propellant stereolithography apparatus (SLA) and digital light processing (DLP) printing which involves understanding the cure depth to successfully print simple propellant geometries and combustion testing to gauge the performance. In this study, Commercial-Off The Shelf (COTS) printers have been used to print all formulations. The background of formulation development and results are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTMS 2022 151st Annual Meeting and Exhibition Supplemental Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783030923808
StatePublished - 2022
Event151st Annual Meeting and Exhibition of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, TMS 2022 - Anaheim, United States
Duration: Feb 27 2022Mar 3 2022

Publication series

NameMinerals, Metals and Materials Series
ISSN (Print)2367-1181
ISSN (Electronic)2367-1696


Conference151st Annual Meeting and Exhibition of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, TMS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


  • 3D printing
  • Energetics
  • Gun propulsion
  • Polymers


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