Gun Propellants - EOE-GP

Technology School
5 days

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Key information



Planned dates

Please contact us for information
on planned dates for this course.


About this course

This short course is a module from the Explosive Ordnance Engineering (EOE) MSc. It is delivered by Cranfield University on behalf of the Technology School, Defence Academy.

This course includes learning on nitrocellulose, its raw materials and single, double, triple and multi-base propellants and other ingredients along with oxygen balance and its effects – barrel erosion and flash specific energy: balancing heat and gas production.  It looks at ageing and storage properties, ballistic parameters and their measurement by a closed vessel and low vulnerability ammunition propellants and other new developments.

You will also learn about the different manufacturing methods, pressure travel curves in a gun, resal’s energy equation and the effect of grain size and shape on gun performance amongst many other areas.

What you will learn

You will learn to:
  • identify the major types of gun propellant and assess their roles in current and future gun systems
  • recognise various compositions of gun propellants

How will this course help my career?

You will  have the skills to: 
  • evaluate a propellant’s ballistic, storage, vulnerability, mechanical and combustion properties from the knowledge of its composition
  • identify various properties of cellulose that affect the quality of nitrocellulose
  • recognise various manufacturing methods
  • identify the ballistic properties of a gun propellant and show how they can be assessed by closed vessel experiments
  • illustrate how the burning behaviour of propellant grains affects the motion of the shot within a gun barrel
  • derive the energy balance equation for a conventional gun
  • model the effects of heat transfer on a gun barrel
  • formulate a theory of gun barrel erosion

Before you attend

If you are seeking a Ministry of Defence (MOD) funded place, you will need to demonstrate in your application that there is a clear business need to undertake the course. 

Can I attend this course?

This course is suitable for the following type(s) of applicant.
  • Industry
  • Military
  • MOD Civil Servants
  • Partners Across Government (PAG)
This course is suitable for those with an interest in gun propulsion and the effects of propellant gases on in-bore projectile travel and barrel heating.

How will I learn?

Classroom, Online

How will you be assessed?

You will be assessed by a 2 hour written examination (75%) and a report on a weapon thermodynamics practical (25%).