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Departement wapensystemen en ballistiek

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Muzzle Devices

Muzzle devices use the physical flow properties in the intermediate ballistics regime to control:


- The dynamics of the gun through muzzle brakes and compensators which reduce the recoil.

- Visible phenomena such as muzzle flash with flash suppressors.

- High pressure gases leaving the tube after the projectile exit with silencers or blast suppressors.


Muzzle Brakes / Compensators

The efficiency of muzzle brakes are measured through their action on the recoil. Free and fixed recoil measurement techniques are used. Design parameters of muzzle devices influencing the dynamics of the gun are examined and their influence is quantified.

Intermediate Ballistics

The mission of this research group is “to develop and validate methods which are used in the investigation of the efficiency of muzzle devices.” The short time scale of the physical phenomena occurring and the high pressure/temperature gases make it a hostile environment for conventional measurement probes. Therefore, this research relies heavily on simulation.

Flash Suppressors

Methods for ranking flash suppressors based on measurement of light intensity and post-processing videos recorded with high speed camera are being developed.

Blast Suppressors / Silencers

The pictures show a shadow photography of the muzzle flow without a muzzle device (left) and a shadow photography with a silencer (right). Noise levels are recorded with microphones or blast pencils.

Numerical Simulations / Experiments

- In-house codes are used for preliminary design and quick evaluation. These codes are validated with experiments in the laboratory.


- For advanced analysis, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used for the simulation of the exhaust flow to get an understanding of the physical phenomena taking place inside muzzle devices.


- Measurements of recoil, pressure (blast/noise) and light intensity along with high speed cameras provide high quality test data used for validating the numerical models.