US Demil (USD) has selected Harper International to design a new continuous indirect rotary thermal treatment unit (TTU) for demilitarisation of the US Department Defense’s (DoD) conventional munitions stockpiles.
The equipment will enable the company to support US DoD in reduction and recycling of large stockpile of excess, obsolete and unserviceable munitions, in the wake of safety and environmental concerns without any damage.
Multiple extensive process development sessions were conducted by USD to validate and prove their proprietary non-incinerative thermal demilitarisation process, known as ‘decineration’, on various small production lots of unique munition materials at Harper’s Technology Research Center in US.
The resulting TTU addressed its requirements of successfully demilitarising and recovering all non-energetic materials, without destruction, in an environmentally responsible manner, at levels previously not achieved by other current demilitarisation processes.
USD president Mark Mitskovski said: "Harper played a critical role in helping us demonstrate the viability of this efficient and unprecedented environmentally responsible closed end processing technology and enabling USD’s success for this project."
Designed using unique demilitarisation application requirements, the system features a rotary tube to address net explosive weight (NEW) safety requirements, reinforced entrance and exit hoods, precise thermal control, as well as robust environmental abatement systems.
Additional features include the ability to process a large and varied universe of munitions and also relocate the fully self-contained system easily from site-to-site, eventually eliminating the need for munitions transport.
Considered a unique material recovery process, USD’s closed-end decineration methodology has already received a US patent and a federal EPA exemption from RECRA-C permitting requirements.
The US Army’s conventional ammunition demilitarisation programme aims to securely and responsibly enable destruction of excess, obsolete and unserviceable munitions, including tactical missiles and large rocket motors currently present in the inventory.
Image: Harper’s rotary thermal treatment unit will support demilitarisation of the US military’s conventional munitions stockpiles. Photo: copyright © 2011 Harper International.