Ignition Composition with Low Moisture Susceptibility
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-025
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Moore - [email protected]
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-025 TITLE: Ignition Composition with Low Moisture Susceptibility

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Air Platform, Materials/Processes, Weapons


The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an ignition composition that is not susceptible to moisture, is stable with respect to long term storage, is easy to light, provides excellent ignition transfer, is easy to fabricate, and is safe to handle.

DESCRIPTION: Many Airborne Expendable Infrared Countermeasures (AEIRCMs) utilized by the U.S. Navy exploit a sympathetically ignited spring-loaded bore-sensing Safe-and-Arm (S&A) type igniter assembly. The S&A is lit by an impulse cartridge during dispense of the countermeasure. The S&A limits the ignition of the primary pyrotechnic payload until it exits the flare cartridge or is outside of the aircraft. As a result, the performance and reliability of the AEIRCM is related to (1) quickly lighting the ignition pellet within the S&A type igniter from the impulse cartridge while exiting the flare cartridge and (2) quickly lighting the primary pyrotechnic payload from the S&A�s ignition pellet upon exiting the flare cartridge or the aircraft.

The ignition pellet within the S&A type igniter currently consists of a composition based on Magnesium/Teflon®/Viton® (MTV). Magnesium is known to degrade when exposed to moisture, which in return can increase ignition times and, in more extreme cases, can result in non-ignitions. Another consequence of this degradation is the evolution of hydrogen gas, which poses an ignition hazard.

Identify, develop and demonstrate a replacement for the current MTV based ignition pellet in the S&A type igniter. The replacement should not be susceptible to moisture degradation, should be stable in long term storage, should be reliably ignitable by an impulse cartridge, should provide rapid ignition transfer to the primary pyrotechnic, should be simple to fabricate, and should be safe to handle and process. The operational conditions in which this ignition pellet will be evaluated range from -65 degrees F to 160 degrees F.

Proposers should be able to obtain, mix and process the raw ingredients for any proposed replacement or energetic composition (Hazard Class 1.3 or 1.1).

PHASE I: Develop suitable ignition compositions. Characterize ignition compositions with respect to safety (friction, static, impact, ignition temperature), aging, and ignitability. The most promising candidates should be pressed in S&A hardware for government evaluation for ignitability by impulse cartridge. The press tooling and S&A hardware will be provided as government furnished equipment and material if needed.

PHASE II: Fabricate and deliver S&A type igniter assembly prototype(s) for government evaluation using various pyrotechnic payloads and compare against the MTV S&A type igniter in static and flight function tests.

PHASE III: Transition a full-scale manufacturing process for proposed ignition composition material to the U.S. Navy. Lead in the manufacturing and testing efforts required to qualify the new composition for U.S. Navy use, as well as pursue potential commercial uses.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Various energetic mixes developed for potential commercial uses in such things as air bags, rocket motors, primers, small arms, etc. are potential commercial uses for a successful development effort.

1. Conkling, J.A. & Mocella, C.J. (2010). Chemistry of Pyrotechnics: Basic Principles and Theory, 2nd Edn., CRC Press - Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL.

2. van Driel, C.A., Leenders, J., & Meulenbrugge, J.J. (1995). Ageing of MTV. Proc. 26th Int. Ann. Conf. of ICT, Karlsruhe, Germany.

KEYWORDS: Countermeasures; Moisture; Ignition; Flare; Magnesium; Pyrotechnic

DoD Notice:  
Between December 12, 2014 and January 14, 2015 you may talk directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is
not allowed starting January 15, 2015 , when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
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