According to the Landmine Monitor Report, 2016 was the second year in a row of exceptionally high numbers of people killed or injured by landmines—including improvised types that mostly act as antipersonnel mines, cluster munition remnants, and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).
The Monitor recorded 8,605 mine and ERW casualties, of which at least 2,089 people were killed. Since 1999, there has been more than 110,000 mine and ERW casualties and while some 1.1 million antipersonnel mines and more than 68,000 antivehicle mines have been destroyed more are out there.
At present two techniques are used to neutralize mines in the field, manual clearance, and destruction (demolition). In manual clearance, the mine is carefully dismantled. Manual clearance can be a very difficult, slow, tedious, and hazardous operation. Mines may behave unpredictably due to corrosion or other forms of weathering or may be booby-trapped with anti-lift devices. Demolition is achieved with high explosives like C-4 or TNT. Unfortunately, this approach has significant hindrance such as safety, cost, effective destruction, storage, transportation, and training.
The ideal method would be a demolition kit with less explosive such as a simple chemical device that provides safer, faster, more reliable and less expensive means for mine neutralization in humanitarian demining operations.
Army researchers have met this need with a kit containing two non-explosive materials: a liquid fuel of nitromethane and a solid or soluble fuel of hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA). Both fuels are pre-measured in separate, sealed containers. The addition of a small quantity HMTA (about 1% by weight) into the liquid creates an explosive. The resulting mixture is capable of being detonated with a standard No. 8 blasting cap inserted through a specially designed screw cap. The mixed material is placed proximal to the mine and remote detonated.
This US patent 9,797,693 is a second divisional patent of US patent 9,506,729 which arose from US patent 9,175,933.
- Safe and inexpensive manufacturing, transportation, and handling
- Reactants are immune to explosion until activated
- US patent 9,797,693 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Army researchers