The Vulnerability research team has a world-leading reputation for its research into explosive safety, specifically the development of new and improved test methods for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the ignition and growth of energetic materials. Thermal analysis of cook-off and the combustion mechanism of damaged material are areas of current research.

The research team also has an interest in the combustion chemistry of solid propellants with a particular interest in understanding the science of ballistic modifiers, and in laser ignition for improved safety.

The high strain rate effects of energetic materials using both gas guns and powder guns is a keen research area, trying to probe the response of energetic materials to violent insults. Recent work has involved investigating the XDT response of rocket motors as a function of mechanical properties and rocket motors design.
The team operates an MOD approved test house for the qualification of explosives – from small scale powder scale to intermediate scale charge tests, and full weapon scale qualification and IM testing.
We also carry out many tests as described in the UN Manual of Tests (Orange Book), for assessing the risk of transportation of hazardous materials.