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TM-9-1300-277 Demilitarization/Disposal of Conventional Munitions Manual
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WASHOUT OF EXPLOSIVE FILLERS
TM 9-1300-277
CHAPTER 6
EXISTING DEMILITARIZATION EQUIPMENT AND METHODS
2000) located behind a safety shield, where it is
6-1. GENERAL
clamped firmly into place. The machine separates the
projectile from the cartridge case. The free projectile is
a. Current conventional munition demilitarization
placed (usually by hand) into another clamping machine
processes have been standardized and use the same
where jaws grip and unscrew the fuze. Fuzes go down
type of equipment everywhere. The four major methods
one conveyor, defuzed projectiles down another, empty
for demilitarization are: washout/steamout, deactivation
cartridge cases down still another; and the dumped
furnace, open burning, and open detonation. The above
propellant powder is collected into a hopper by vacuum.
methods may require disassembly of some components
It is the reverse of an assembly line.
prior to processing by one of the four major methods
listed above.
c. The disassembly of smaller ammunition, such
as 20mm, is even more automated. Complete rounds
b. Current facilities and capabilities-in terms of
are fed by a conveyor belt, behind a safety shield, to a
locations, capacity, equipment, and techniques will be
breakoff wedge where the projectile is forced out of the
further described in this chapter.
cartridge case.  The projectile drops onto a second
conveyor which takes it to a collection bin.  The
c. Detonation capabilities, both above and below
cartridge cases drop into a tumbling barrel where the
ground, will be identified by location.
propellant powder is shaken out and collected in a
vacuum system.  The cases finally drop into a third
6-2. MUNITION DISASSEMBLY LINES
conveyor which takes them to another collection bin.
a. The first step in most demilitarization/disposal
6-3. APE DISASSEMBLY EQUIPMENT
operation  is  the  disassembly  of  munitions  into
components suitable for ultimate disposal.
Fixed
The  equipment  components,  as  used  on
artillery ammunition, for example, will have the
disassembly lines, are of a special design identified as
projectile pulled out of the cartridge case in a special
Ammunition Peculiar Equipment (APE). They are listed
Jig, the propellant powder dumped into a collection bin,
and described in detail in TM 43-0001-47, Army
and the primer removed from the cartridge case. The
Equipment
Data
Sheets
Ammunition
Peculiar
projectile will have the fuze, the supplemental charge,
Equipment, October 1979. Examples of APE used to
and the fuze well liner removed to expose the explosive
disassemble fixed artillery munitions are:
fill for removal. 30/50 caliber machine gun ammunition
will be separated from the purely mechanical belt
a. Vertical Pull Apart Machine (APE 10017, with
hardware.  20mm ammunition will usually, but not
proper accessories, is designed to pull apart fixed
always, have the projectile pulled, the powder dumped,
munitions 40 through 106mm at a production rate of 2
and the projectiles and cases collected in separate bins;
rounds per minute. The machine can be used to pull
whereas, smaller ammunition is usually left intact.
apart Navy ammunition; however, accessories would
Bombs, mines, and other large munitions will have the
have to be designed and tested.
explosive fill exposed in much the same manner as
large ammunition.
b. Vertical Pull Apart Machine (automated, APE
2000)  is  a  rotary  machine  with  cam  operated
b. The above operations are typically carried out
mechanical drive to pull the rounds. It is equipped with
more or less remotely on automated disassembly lines
a pickoff mechanism to automatically remove the pulled
designed especially for the specific munition.  Fixed
projectile from the machine and deposit it on a
artillery ammunition, for example, will be placed by hand
discharge
into a Vertical Pull Apart Machine (APE 1001 or APE
6-1

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