DRDO - ADA EXHIBITION

Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru

20th (Wed) - 24th(Sun), February 2019

High Energy Materials Research Laboratory

HEMRL


About Lab

High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) is a premier lab in Armament and Combat Engineering (ACE) cluster of laboratories under Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). The history of the lab can be traced back to 1908 as Chemical Examiner’s Office, at Nainital. The unit has undergone radical changes in its charter and duties, responsibilities and locations during the first five decades and finally emerged as one of the premier laboratories of DRDO as Explosive Research and Development Laboratory (ERDL) in1963 for dedicated research in Explosives. The areas of research were expanded further, to carryout research in the entire spectrum of high energy materials (HEMs) and finally, the laboratory was rechristened as ‘High Energy Materials Research Laboratory’ (HEMRL) in 1995.

HEMRL is the only lab in the country of its kind dealing with all types of munitions starting from small arms, gun & mortar ammunition, high energy solid propellants for guns, rockets & missiles. In view of specialized nature and sensitivity of the tasks, HEMRL has developed indigenous expertise to synthesize High Energy ingredients, to design pilot scale plants for batch production, to assist productionisation and sophisticated instrumented test facilities for evaluation.

The Laboratory is engaged in development and evaluation of –

  • Propellants & combustible cases for various Gun systems (Single-base, Double-base, Triple-base, Nitramine and LOVA Propellants, Combustible Cartridge Cases)
  • Solid Rocket Propellants for Rockets & Missiles (Double Base, Smokeless, Cartridge loaded and Case Bonded Composite Propellants, Energetic & Fuel Rich Propellants, Insulation and Inhibition Technologies)
  • High Explosive Compositions for Bombs, Warheads (Melt Cast, Pressed, Polymer bonded, Sheet, Incendiary, Thermobaric Explosives)
  • Design and Development of Pyrotechnic devices (Electro-explosive Devices, Delays, Infra-red Flares, Illuminating Candles, Smoke Generators)
  • Synthesis and Characterization of New High Energy Materials and establishment of Pilot Plants for scale-up and manufacture in bulk.

HEMRL is working closely with system laboratories viz., ARDE, DRDL, NSTL, ASL and ADE to develop various armament, aircrafts, torpedo, missiles and allied systems. To expedite the development cycle of systems / sub-systems of various programmes/projects and to facilitate subsequent induction / production, HEMRL is always striving for academia & Industry participation.

HEMRL has made outstanding contributions in the field of High Energy Materials, which resulted in successful development of various tactical and strategic systems leading to self-reliance. The Lab has developed energetic systems like conventional warheads, pyro devices, Delay cartridges, rocket motors for various missile programs like LRSAM, NGARM, Akash, BrahMos, ANSP, SF&D, AD etc., critical armament store like BMCS, IR Flares, Smoke Grenades, ERA, Thermobaric Bombs & Ammunition etc.. Using the expertise and infrastructure available with Indian Industry, HEMRL has established scale up and production of various high energy materials & processing technologies successfully at various private and government agencies.

Shri KPS Murthy

Shri KPS Murthy, Sc. H & Director, HEMRL Shri KPS Murthy assumed the charge as the Director of High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune on 1st August 2015. Prior to his appointment as Director HEMRL, he has served as Associate Director of Armament Research & Development Establishment and successfully steered the design & development of warheads and fuze projects for rockets, missiles, Torpedoes and bombs. He has been promoted to the Grade of Sc. ‘H’ (Outstanding Scientist) w.e.f. 07th October 2015.

An IIT Kharagpur alumnus, Shri Murthy started his scientific journey with ARDE and made outstanding contributions in the design & development of warhead subsystem of various missiles such as Prithvi, Akash, Nag, Air Defence, Nirbhay etc. He was instrumental in developing many advanced warhead technologies like Detonation wave aiming, Deep penetration, Thermobaric warheads and High performance Shaped charges.

A self-reliance evangelist, he has successfully spearheaded several transfer of technologies (ToTs) to Ordnance Factories and encouraged private participation in development & production activities.

In his career spanning 28 years, he has pioneered and innovated Variable Mass Preformed Fragmentation concept for developing Fragmentation warheads, Tandem Warhead for 3rd generation anti tank missile system, Penetration cum blast submunition warheads, Fragment Generator for Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) applications, Directional blast and Shaped charges for under water application, novel PCB & TB ammunition for MBT Arjun, 500 kg General Purpose & Pre-Fragmented Bombs, Submunition warheads for Rockets, pyro operated safety arming mechanisms (SAM), impact delay fuzes for various weapon system.

He has published more than 32 technical papers in reputed national & international journals, seminars and symposiums. There are 4 patents to his credit.

He is the recipient of many prestigious awards including: DRDO Agni Award for Excellence in Self Reliance in 2014, 2009 and 2005, DRDO Award for Performance Excellence in 2014 & 2012, DRDO Award for Path-Breaking Research/Outstanding Technology Development in 2008, DRDO Scientist of the year Award in 2008, Dr Biren Roy Trust Award (AeSI) in 2007, DRDO Lab Level Technology Group Award in 2006.

He is fellow and Vice President, Pune Chapter of Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI). He is life member and President, Pune Chapter of Indian National Society for Aerospace and related mechanisms (INSARM). Apart from this he is Life member and President at National Level of High Energy Material Society of India (HEMSI).

Products/Technologies For Civil Sector

Air Regenerating Composition

This composition is used for maintaining breathable air within a closed space. It regenerates air inside confined space by liberating oxygen and simultaneously absorbing carbon dioxide. It can be used in civil applications like rescue work in mines, fire/ toxic environments; toxic gas/chemical plant operation; mountaineering expeditions; complete air regeneration inside a spacecraft; under sea exploration and mining etc.

Explosives Detection Kit (EDK)

A compact, low-cost and handy explosive detection kit has been designed and perfected for field detection of traces of explosives. The simple test recipe yields a colour reaction, based on which explosives can be detected in minutes. It can be used for identification of all common military, civil and home-made explosive compositions. It is being used by Police and BSF for the detection of explosives. EDK is being marketed by a private firm in the US, under the fast track technology programme for ATAC through FICCI.

84 mm High Temperature Suffocating Smoke (HTSS) Ammunition

84 mm Incendiary round is a multipurpose round. It is optimized for close combat in urban as well as field operational areas and is effective against lightly protected fortifications, brick walls and wooden structures. The round after penetrating target creates incendiary and suffocating smoke. The incendiary fragments burn with high temperature setting on fire combustibles and spews out smoke that suffocates human beings. The combined effects can force the enemy to abandon safe hiding place and be captured.

Oleoresin Based Incapacitating Smoke Grenade

Traditional lachrymatory agent, 1- chloroacetophenone (CN) Teargas is used for riot control and mob control situations. Presently dibenz (b,f)-1,4 oxazepine (CR) is also used as induced respiratory tract sensory irritant. The newly developed grenade based on oleoresin plays an important role in incapacitating and flushing out of terrorist from their hideout and camps without harming them, for a possible capture and enquiry. Since the grenade is based on the concentrated extract of a naturally occurring red pepper in lower concentrations and is dispersed in the atmosphere instantaneously causing irritancy to throat and mucus membrane and also to skin, the hand grenade is considered to be potential ammunition with law enforcement agencies in effectively combating the insurgency operations.

Advanced Demolition Devices (ADDs)

Traditional lachrymatory agent, 1- chloroacetophenone (CN) Teargas is used for riot control and mob control situations. Presently dibenz (b,f)-1,4 oxazepine (CR) is also used as induced respiratory tract sensory irritant. The newly developed grenade based on oleoresin plays an important role in incapacitating and flushing out of terrorist from their hideout and camps without harming them, for a possible capture and enquiry. Since the grenade is based on the concentrated extract of a naturally occurring red pepper in lower concentrations and is dispersed in the atmosphere instantaneously causing irritancy to throat and mucus membrane and also to skin, the hand grenade is considered to be potential ammunition with law enforcement agencies in effectively combating the insurgency operations.

IR Flares for CMDS

The IR flare for CMDS is a 2″ x 1″ x 8″ size cartridge, which produces an intense IR radiation in the desired waveband for more than 3.5 s duration on initiation. The IR Flares are used to save the fighters and transport aircrafts from IR guided missiles (both surface to air and air to air threats). Once inducted, the IR flare for CMDS will be utilized for self-protection in hostile environment by the various aircrafts of Indian Air force. The user trials for indigenous 2″ x 1″ x 8″ IR flares have been completed successfully as per Air HQ Task directive for testing and evaluation of flares. The performance of indigenous flares was observed to be highly satisfactory.

Tear Gas Grenade MK-II

The grenade contains tear producing composition based on1-chloroacetophenone (CN). Lachrymatory agent irritates the lachrymatory glands producing tears there by blurring the vision and minor skin & throat irritation. The effect is known as lachrymatory effect. Tear gas is used for riot control and mob control situations. HEMRL has developed a CN based hand grenade capable of functioning for 30s duration for controlling mob violence and flushing out hidden law breakers.

Gelatinized Combustible Cartridge Case (CCC) for 120 mm MBT Arjun and 125 mm T-72 Tank Gun ammunition (Mk-I CCC Technology):

Conventional ammunition uses brass cartridge case. Brass cartridge case (BCC) had been replaced by gelatinized Combustible Cartridge Case (CCC) in tank gun ammunition all over the world because of their usefulness at high chamber pressure (>450 MPa) and for high firing rates. HEMRL has developed gelatinized CCC by solvent technique containing nitrocellulose (NC), nitroguanidine (NGu) and cellulosic fibres and established manufacture by molding technique. The technology involves formation of matrix of cellulose and NC fibres with NGu as a filler. Mechanical strength of the combustible components is achieved by gelatinization followed by compaction under high pressure at ambient. Its production has been established in private firm in 1993.

Resin based CCC for 120 mm MBT Arjun, 125 mm T-72 Tank and 155 mm BMCS for artillery gun (Mk-II CCC Technology):

In order to upgrade Combustible Cartridge Case technology, HEMRL has developed resin based CCC to have higher strength in comparison with gelatinized CCC which is based on Nitrocellulose (NC) – cellulose – Polyvinyl Acetate (PVAc) resin system. Resin based CCC components are also made by felt molding technique and the mechanical strength of the matrix is achieved by hot compaction. These resin based CCCs have higher Tensile Strength (TS) and are dimensionally stable as the processing is solventless.

Production of resin based CCC for 120 mm FSAPDS & HESH ammunition for MBT Arjun, 125 mm FSAPDS ammunition for T-72 tank and 155 mm Bi-modular Charge System for artillery gun was initially established in HEMRL on pilot plant scale and subsequently established in private firms in 2005.

Other Products developed by the Lab

  • High Density, High VOD Explosives
  • Insensitive Explosives
  • High energy binders and plasticizers
  • Ballistic Modifiers
  • Amorphous Boron Powder
  • Safe Initiatory (Basic Lead Azide)
  • Smoke Marker
  • Closed vessel recorders and rocket recorders

Solid Rocket Propellants:

Cast Double Base (CDB) Propellants

The technology has been developed with a variety of compositions having wide range of burn rates, pressure index values and very low temperature sensitivities. Facilities are available for casting propellant charges of intricate shapes and solid cylinders of different diameters.

Extruded Double Base Propellants

A large number of compositions with wide range of burn rates and pressure index have been developed and are being used for different applications.

Composite Propellants

A state-of-the-art composite propellant technology based on hydroxy-terminated polybutadiene has been developed with wide range of burn rates. Processing facilities for cartridge-loaded propellants and case bonded motors have been established.

Composite Modified Double Base Propellants

The technology using solid oxidizers and metal fuel in double base propellant matrix of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine has been established. A large variety of formulations with wide burn rates have been developed. A process for casting cross-linked composite modified double base propellant (CMDB) has been patented.

Fuel Rich Propellants

The technology has been established for processing fuel rich propellants with wide burn rates by both pressing and casting techniques.

Nitramine based advanced Propellants

Indigenous technology for the development of this class of propellant which has highly desirable characteristics of high energy and reduced smoke emission has been established.

Inhibition Technology

A polyester-based formulation has been developed for inhibiting the burning of propellants to achieve desired burning characteristics. Burning duration up to 180 s has been achieved.

Processing technologies for strategic missile

HEMRL has developed various technologies related to large size case bonded rocket motor propellant processing for large boosters and gas generators for various strategic programmes like AGNI, AD, ANS. etc., Different capacity boosters are processed, successfully static / flight tested and are under deployment.

Rocket Motors

Propellant formulations:

  • Varying burning rates from very low to very high to meet the booster, sustainer and gas generator applications
  • High solid loading propellant compositions to realize high densities
  • Propellant compositions:
    • With inert binder (Without Nitramine & With Nitramine)
    • Energetic binder with nitramines
  • Structural properties suiting to – 40 to +55OC temperature envelope
  • Mechanical properties capable of handling nozzleless booster typical load requirements
  • Low aluminized and aluminized propellant compositions

Processing technologies:

  • Hard ware preparation (abrading & liner coating) for metallic and composite casings
  • Large scale mixing
  • Vacuum casting technology for small to large size motors
  • Bottom casting technology for processing thin web pyrogen igniters
  • Pressure casting technology for high viscous propellant slurry
  • Ribbon casting of highly viscous propellant
  • Pressure curing
  • Multiple casting of rocket motors

Propellant Processing Facility

Igniters for Solid Rocket Propellants

HEMRL is responsible for design and development of ignition systems for all classes of solid rocket propellants used in tactical and strategic missile programs of DRDO like Pinaka Mk I & Mk-II, Akash, Nirbhay, AAD, Agni program etc. Ignition systems developed by HEMRL are mostly boron based, magnesium based and gun powder based compositions. For most of the compositions, HEMRL has completed the transfer of technology (ToT) to various agencies like Ordnance Factories, private firms like EEL Nagpur, PEL Hyderabad etc.

Single base Propellants

A number of single base compositions have been developed by solvent process for a variety of applications in small arms and gun ammunition. These consist of nitrocellulose with other ingredients like modifiers and stabilizers to control burn rate and other properties. They are extruded into tubular, multi-tubular or honeycomb shapes or spherical balls. These propellants are used in all Indian Small Arms Systems.

Double base Propellants

The double base propellants, used for gun projectiles and mortar ammunition, consist of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine along with other additives. A large number of compositions have been formulated and developed in a variety of configurations.

Triple base Propellants

These propellants can be extruded to any shape by solvent and solvent less processes. They help to achieve high energy at lower flame temperature and thus help reduce barrel wear.

High Energy propellant

These propellants are developed for120 mm FSAPDS Ammunition for MBT Arjun.

LOVA propellants

These propellants are developed for special applications and are based on NC, Fine RDX and Cellulose Acetate.

Combustible Cartridge Cases

HEMRL took up the challenge of developing Combustible Cartridge Cases (CCCs) initially for Artillery Gun Ammunition in 1967. Since most of the work done by other countries on CCCs is patented, the conceptual innovative prototype design of indigenous CCC was worked out in-house. HEMRL has developed successfully CCCs for various ammunitions

High Explosives

Explosives technologists aim to achieve enhanced lethality of gun projectiles and missile warheads. In order to realize these objectives, high performance of explosives in terms of velocity of detonation (VoD) and blast pressure are most sought after characteristics of high explosives. This has provided thrust to search compounds with oxygen balance (OB) closer to stoichiometry and positive heat of formation (Hf). HEMRL has developed high explosive compositions for all the applications.

Flexible Linear Shaped Charges (FLSC)

Technology for extrusion of lead sheathed FLSC of different caliber and explosive loading ranging from 0.8 g/m to 80 g/m has been established. These FLSCs are based on RDX as explosive filling. These can provide a clean cut in variety of targets like 7 mm stretched acrylic sheet used in an aircraft canopy to hard targets like MS sheets of thickness up to 8 mm. Some of these charges are being used as demolition devices.

Plastic Bonded Explosives (PBXs)

HEMRL has established the technology for various PBX compositions suitable for different applications.

Charge Line Mine Clearing (Vehicle)

It is an explosive based mine clearing system. On deployment over a mine field, it creates a safe lane 6 m wide and 250 m in length. The path thus created can be used for movement of all types of vehicles.

Charge Line Mine Clearing (Vehicle)

It is an explosive based mine clearing system. On deployment over a mine field, it creates a safe lane 6 m wide and 250 m in length. The path thus created can be used for movement of all types of vehicles.

Solid Incendiary

A solid incendiary composition suitable for application in spinning and non spinning type of ammunition has been developed. The burning cinders burn at a temperature of about 2000 °C and are capable of setting on fire any combustible target that is in contact with them. It has been extensively evaluated in different ammunition systems.

Fuel air explosive

Fuel Air Explosive technology has been developed by HEMRL for various applications. Fuel Air Explosive (FAE) weapons are designed based on the principle of dissemination of a liquid fuel in atmosphere to form an aerosol and followed by the detonation of the aerosol. FAE weapons have very high potential for damaging blast susceptible soft targets like un-reinforced structures, parked aircrafts, super structure of ships, communication installations, B-vehicles, A/T mines, A/P mines, troops in open, etc.

Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA)

ERA disrupts and defeats the shaped charge jet of anti-tank missile warheads effectively. Provide protection to tank against High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) and KE threats. Have Provision for fitment of reactive elements in panels without removing the panels, thus fast uparming of the tank.

T-72 fitted with ERA Mk-I MBT Arjun Mk-II fitted with ERA Mk-II

Mine Inflammable (MI)

On initiation of this mine, a flame is generated that floats on water. It can be effectively used for prevention of movement of enemy across water surfaces<./p>

Pyrotechnics

Electro-Explosive Devices

Electro-explosive devices (EEDs) are meant for reliable initiation of explosive train for various operations. EEDs having a no fire current of 500 mA and all fire current of 2A have been developed.

Infrared Flares

An Infrared flare having an intensity of more than 2000 Watts/ Steradian and burning for more than 60 s has been developed. The flare helps to locate tow body by an IR guided missile fitted to the air craft. The composition is suitable for filling in ammunition of different calibers to achieve similar effects.

81 mm Anti-thermal Anti-laser (AT-AL) Smoke Grenade

An instantaneous smoke screen capable of obscuring Electro-optic equipments has been developed by deploying a 81 mm caliber grenade. Similar performance can be achieved by filling this composition in ammunition of different calibers.

Pyrotechnic Delay

ADelay systems are meant for event separation in ammunition. HEMRL has developed compositions for generating delays ranging from 30 ms to 30 s.

Illuminating compositions

ADelay systems are meant for event separation in ammunition. HEMRL has developed compositions for generating delays ranging from 30 ms to 30 s.

Bi-modular charge system for 155 mm field Gun

BMCS is advantageous over conventional cloth bag charges because of simpler operation and reduced logistics during storage / transportation and war scenario. Two types of modular charges {lower zone (1 & 2) & higher zone (3, 4, 5 & 6)} replace more number of existing different bagged sub-charges thus avoiding disposal of left-over charges. The combustible case protects propellants & allied components from environment & unplanned stimuli. Higher rate of fire is achievable due to faster loading using auto-loading system.

BMCS developed by HEMRL is used as a propulsion system for various 155 mm artillery gun systems like Bofors and Soltam.

Chemical Engineering and Pilot Plants

A large number of high energy materials (HEMs) and allied chemicals are being synthesized in HEMRL at lab scale (mg to g level). Processes for these materials are required to be scaled up further. Several products have been developed in the past and pilot plant productions have been set up for limited series production in HEMRL.

Coming Soon