The US Office of Naval Research has announced the successful testing of a new explosive material that can increase the effectiveness of a weapon impact. The new material is made of a high-sensitivity substance that has five times the explosive energy of existing armaments. The material mixes metals and polymers and is as dense as steel with the strength of aluminum.
The scientists on the project say that projectiles made using the new material are less likely to harm bystanders and will ensure that when used against other missiles in flight the chance of destroying the target is increased. The new material can be used to create missiles, artillery shells, and other munitions that are typically constructed with a steel casing that contains high explosive inside.
The new weapons using the improved material called High-Density Reactive Materials (HDRM) use a casing that has materials that combine and explode when the projectile hits a target. The components inside the HDRM casings would combine on impact and cause a chemical explosion by combining different types of metals with oxidizers. The new material shows great promise in anti-missile systems, but could also increase the effectiveness of other armaments as well without creating more of a shrapnel risk for bystanders.
[via BBC News]