Based on the success of the cryofracture method of accessing munitions, the US Army requested a transportable cryofracture plant that can be set up at a site, perform a demilitarization mission, and then be disassembled, moved to another site, and set up again for another demilitarization mission. The transportable system is intended for use when there are large quantities of munitions to be demilitarized at a given location.
The modular elements allow straightforward connection of the system functions. The munitions are brought to the munition preparation trailer. The munitions are unpacked and placed in a munition carrier for transfer to a liquid-nitrogen cryobath (cryopretreatment trailer) where they are cooled to about -200° F. After a suitable cooldown time, the munitions are removed from the cryobath and placed into specialized tooling in a hydraulic press (cryofracture press trailer) where they are fractured and subsequently discharged into an explosive deactivation system (incineration or neutralization). The deactivation system and necessary support systems are also truck-mounted. The deactivated munition debris (ash/metal) can then be safely discarded or possibly recycled. Additional trucks/semi-truck trailer modules are provided for necessary system support functions such as the control room, power generation, process air, liquid-nitrogen generation, and maintenance needs.
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This system has the following features:
- The transportable cryofracture system is designed to operate in a stand-alone mode. Other than diesel fuel, the system is self-supporting. The system generates its own power and liquid nitrogen so it can be deployed in remote areas.
- The system utilizes explosive-containment shields to protect the equipment and personnel from fragments caused by any unexpected high-order detonation.
- The system is remotely controlled and operated to maximize personnel safety.
- Munitions processed by the system are broken up and destroyed—they cannot be reused as weapons.