The Centre for Defence Chemistry has been working on propellants, explosives and pyrotechnic research since the 1980s. We are interested in all aspects of manufacturing, vulnerability, combustion, and life assessment of energetic materials. We have an explosive licence to manufacture and store explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics, an accredited hazard testing and compatibility facility, a dedicated manufacturing facility and an explosive range. All our people are experts in their field and some represent the UK on NATO committees.

The Centre for Defence Chemistry is home to an enviable range of facilities for the analysis and characterisation, testing, ageing and disposal of a wide range of materials including explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics, fuels and polymers.

The Centre is host to the  (COEEM). COEEM is a UK Government-driven initiative to pull together and champion essential national capability in energetic materials. It aims to draw on UK-wide organisations, facilities, and academic centres to provide coordinated research, training, test and evaluation and knowledge exchange.

Besides defence applications, security research is becoming increasingly important. We work in these areas:

  • Manufacturing – synthesis, formulation, crystallinity, 3D printing, smart materials.
  • Vulnerability – combustion, detonics, ignition and growth.
  • Life Assessment – ageing, stability, environmental.
  • Security – forensic, detection and analysis, CBRN.
  • Testing and evaluation – safety, hazard and performance.