Army

Smoke grenade with reduced fragmentation hazard

Simplifies production and reduces the fragmentation hazard associated with the M-201 fuze on the M-106 grenade

Military Technology

The U.S. Army uses the M106 smoke grenade near friendly forces. The smoke (titanium dioxide) is dispersed by an exploding KAP (potassium perchlorate, aluminum, pentaerythritol) mixture contained in a central burster.

The conventional design consists of a top and bottom plate held approximately four inches apart by four screws. The purpose of these screws is to prevent the top and bottom plates from becoming dangerous fragments. The top plate is threaded to accept an M-201 fuze.

The M-201 fuze was designed to be used on smoke grenades that exhibit slow, low-pressure burning characteristics. The M-201 fuze body is constructed of cast zinc and was not designed to withstand the higher pressure present during the functioning of the M106 smoke grenade. In testing, the fuze body has fractured creating a potentially lethal fragmentation hazard.

Army engineers have designed a grenade with a delay column that activates a primer after a predetermined time, at which point the primer initiates the burster tube. The delay is approximately one second and is sufficient to permit the fuze to travel far enough away from the housing body so that the fuze is not accelerated by the burster tube.

This improved design uses the same cardboard body and burster tube as the conventional designs. The bolts and the aluminum top and bottom plates of the conventional designs are replaced by plastic injection-molded parts.

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