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Dr James Wilgeroth

Energetics Materials Scientist

James joined BAE Systems Land UK in 2017 as an Energetic Materials Scientist. Prior to this, he spent time at Imperial College London as a Post-Doctoral Researcher with the Institute of Shock Physics and at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories. James’ work at Land UK focuses upon the development of nanothermite initiator compositions for use in a range of munitions platforms and Resonant Acoustic Mixing (RAM) research and development.

James Wilgeroth
Use of Nanothermites in the Defence Sector

Nanothermites take advantage of the enhanced reaction kinetics that are afforded by intimately mixing sub-micron fuel and oxidizer components. Their propensity for ignition, rapid combustion propagation velocities, and high levels of heat output satisfy the performance characteristics demanded by a wide range of defence applications. Aluminothermic compositions are of particular interest within the defence community as they may provide a lead-free alternative in initiator systems.

Nanothermite compositions have been prepared via Resonant Acoustic Mixing (RAM), producing successful initiations in both percussive and electrically initiated primer systems. Synthesis of nanothermite inks for combined use with additive layer and deposition technologies has also been undertaken. The development of these technologies is discussed in relation to the potential uses for nanothermites within the defence sector.