Update on the New Modernised Propellant Manufacturing Facility
Australian Munitions is excited to introduce the first of our new single based flake Australian Pistol Shotgun (APS) propellants. It has been manufactured from the new Mulwala propellant facility for use in the civilian market – ADI World Class Powders APS350 and APS450.
In mid December, the first samples were sent out to a select group of testers for review. These new APS products will become available in Australian dealerships for you to try from March 2018. It is an exciting time to be an ADI customer!
The readers may recall last year’s article explaining the transition of the Mulwala propellant manufacturing from the old 1940s-era factory into the modernised manufacturing facility. The new facility uses modern technology to reduce environmental risks and impacts, while improving safety in processing. The following information is targeted toward you, our product users, to give you feedback on the move to this new facility and what to expect in the future.
Australian Munitions is actively transitioning propellant manufacturing from the old to the new modern facility, with over two dozen propellant variants for both military and civil applications. These products include propellants for shotgun, pistol, rifle, medium and large calibre applications. A significant number of trials have been performed to gain an operational understanding on the new facility at each process to assess product performance, physical characteristics and to properly gauge production consistency requirements. Ultimately, the plant will be used in the way it was designed to operate and this is being managed through the transition of various process steps that are being brought on-line as plant capabilities mature, replacing the equivalent process in the old plant. This transition process ensures continuity of supply while we bring our world class facility online, ensuring we continue to meet product performance and customer expectations.
Features of the new APS family of propellants manufactured from our modernised propellant facility include a grain form to allow improved metering and increased versatility, whilst still retaining the clean burning performance characteristics that set ADI World Class powders apart.
The APS series propellants includes two designs: a free flowing flake type propellant covering AS30N, AS50N/AP50N burn rates and a new design covering the AP70N to AP100 burn rate range. These propellants were designed for consistent metering, clean burning and with the performance you’d expect.
The new Australian Pistol and Shotgun propellants are the first products released from the modernised facility, and are well advanced down the industrial readiness pathway. The new flake products are identifiable within the new APS series of products and are set out as follows:
- APS350 – AS30N equivalent
- APS450 – AS50N and AP50N equivalent
The technology in the modernised facility opens up a range of other opportunities for propellant design and we have taken the opportunity to rethink what can be achieved, particularly for pistol shotgun and small rifle applications. These products will incorporate the latest burn rate modifier technology and will have improved loadability and ballistic performance. Where possible, we will bring across the latest military technologies such as even further reduced fouling, muzzle flash reductions and extended weapon-life lubricants.
Australian Munitions is also planning to manufacture new rifle propellant products out of the new facility. Again, the aim is to capitalise on the technology in the new plant with modernised formulations and tuned geometries.
The new family of propellants for release will be referred to as the AR28-series, which will incorporate a range of new features and be at the cutting-edge of propellant design and performance.
The upgrade to the new facility is key to keeping a strategic capability in Australia, providing local jobs and a domestic supply of propellants. These are exciting times and we trust you will continue to enjoy the old products being manufactured in the new Australian Munitions factory and we look forward to your feedback as the new propellant ranges are released over the next few years.