Military arms and ammunition are high-value items kept under tight security and secrecy. They must be in “ready-to-use” state at any given time. Military arms are often more sensitive to humidity damage than to high or low temperatures. Storage of steel or metal products presents major problems where the air is humid and there is a big variation in temperature during the 24-hour day causing condensation at times.
Many of these military arms contain instruments, electronics and precision-machined surfaces which can be damaged by high humidity or condensation. Ammunition for most arms ranging in size from 0.22 caliber bullet to GPS guided missiles consists of an explosive charge somewhere in the design. Ammunition must be kept dry because many explosive propellants and the charges cannot function effectively. Ammonium Nitrate, Gunpowder and solid fuel, etc. are extremely moisture sensitive and are rendered totally ineffective if stored in uncontrolled conditions. Proper ammunition storage is an important safety consideration in defence operations.
Dynamite is another explosive item that needs to store in a controlled environment. It is made of nitroglycerine, sorbent and stabilizers. The dynamite absorbs moisture readily. The presence of moisture reduces its strength and detonation velocity.
Some of the common problems faced by Defence personnel
Ineffective arms and ammunition
Corrosion in communication equipment
Explosions in selective instances
Often, arms and ammunition are transported from one region to another under varying temperature and RH conditions. The temperature and humidity fluctuations cause condensation and subsequently cause corrosion. Moisture also aggravates the process of decomposition of the explosive and causes the explosive’s metal container to corrode.
Defence uses effective integrated communication systems for real-time communication. However, when these devices are exposed to moisture due to temperature fluctuations, it may interfere in consistent communication and delay the army action.
It is recommended that explosive such as dynamite and other arms and ammunition to be stored in an environment of around 40% RH humidity. Dehumidification is essential for the safe preservation of materials during storage, manufacturing and processing. Bry-Air Desiccant Dehumidifiers are capable of maintaining desired RH level regardless of ambient conditions.
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Excess moisture poses a threat to military arms, ammunition, and communication equipment, leading to issues such as ineffective functionality, corrosion, explosions, and communication delays in varying temperature and humidity conditions.