According to the Office of Naval Research (ONR), high-density reactive material (HDRM), an innovative material that will substitute steel in weapon casings, will offer enhanced lethality and improve the chance of a strike on an enemy target.
A combination of different metals and standard production technologies enable the fabrication of HDRM. It has the capability to drastically improve the explosive impact of majority of the weapons with little or no compromise in design or strength.
Unlike traditional weapons, this particular approach enables integration of the casing with qualified weapon explosives for improved lethality. Moreover, the novel design for fragmenting weapons ensures that chemical energy is released after strike, thus enhancing the chance of a cataclysmic kill.
HDRM characterizes mild steel’s density and standard aluminum alloy’s strength. These properties allow it to be used a substitute for steel components. In order to sustain the chance of a strike, the materials used in the current warhead systems should have the density of steel.
Dr. Clifford Bedford, who serves as energy conversion program officer at the ONR, stated that recent experiments and demonstrations have proved that the new HDRM casings can be used with naval weapons and are strong enough to tolerate the missile’s high acceleration during launch and the forces released during detonation. The HDRM pieces can enter the skin of the target followed by a quick and continuous explosion or combustion, he added. The ONR plans additional test shots during mid August 2011 at the Army's Blossom Point Field Test Facility in Maryland, where it last fired test shots.