Energetic materials

Energetic materials are at the heart of most of today’s weapon systems and are necessary for the delivery of the weapon to its target. In civil applications large amounts of energetic materials are used, for example in rock blasting, space flight, and airbags for vehicle safety. Terrorism and asymmetric warfare has led to problems with homemade bombs, something that has triggered a drastic increase in interest in the ability to detect explosive substances in both civil and military contexts.

FOI is one of the world’s leading research agencies in the field of energetic materials. Our activities cover all aspects from research, development and testing to small-scale manufacture or the building of demonstrators. FOI possesses comprehensive expertise in areas such as the synthesis, formulation, analysis, characterisation and initiation of explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics. FOI can offer overall solutions to the Swedish Armed Forces and to civil customers both in Sweden and abroad.


The Swedish Armed Forces are our largest single customer but we also undertake assignments for civil authorities such as the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency MSB and the Police. For the military we develop new applications based on energetic materials and we contribute towards the increased safety of munitions through studies of the stability and ageing of explosive substances. We also study processes that can lead to the accidental initiation of explosives. On the civil side we develop solutions for space applications and for vehicle pyrotechnics (airbags). FOI has also gained wide recognition as a source of safety-oriented research covering all aspects of explosive substances for the civil authorities and other clients.



We also carry out classification and functional testing and we undertake risk analysis associated with fire and explosion risks as well as providing training courses in this area.