Reactive materials are solids such as metals and metal oxides that cannot be detonated, but are capable of releasing large amounts of thermodynamic energy very rapidly. These materials can provide energy that exceeds those of traditional explosives and offer the potential of significantly increasing performance without increasing size or weight. The potential of this class of materials has not been realized because of limitations related to dynamic control of strength and energy conversion mechanisms. The Reactive Material Structures (RMS) program seeks to develop the revolutionary capability of integrating reactive and structural materials into a single material system, with a mechanism to activate that system and release energy upon command.
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