Rotary Thermal Treatment System Used for Decommissioning Military Munitions
Image courtesy of Harper International

U.S. Demil LLC selected Harper International, Buffalo, to design a continuous indirect rotary thermal treatment unit for demilitarization processing of munitions. The equipment will support U.S. Department of Defense efforts to reduce and recycle large stockpiles of excess, obsolete and unserviceable munitions for safety and environmental purposes.

U.S. Demil LLC conducted several process development sessions at Harper’s Technology Research Center to test and prove its proprietary non-incinerative thermal demilitarization process on small production lots of munitions materials. Fine tuning of their precise thermal regime was focused on a design to deliver the most efficient and safe system possible.

The system design considers the demilitarization application requirements, including design of a rotary tube to meet net explosive weight (N.E.W.) safety requirements, reinforced entrance and exit hoods, precise thermal control and environmental abatement systems. Other features include the ability to process many types of munitions and the ability to relocate the fully self-contained system from site to site, thereby eliminating the need to transport munitions.

The thermal treatment unit achieves the customer’s needs of successfully demilitarizing and recovering, without destruction, all non-energetic materials in an environmentally responsible manner, at levels not previously achieved in other existing demilitarization processes.  U.S. Demil LLC’s closed end Decineration methodology is considered a unique material recovery process and has received a U.S. patent and a federal EPA exemption from RECRA-C permitting requirements.