Hot Drop Equipment/Kit

The Hot Drop system is astand-off method of melting a hole in an article of ordnance and burning the HE contents.

The system consists of a crucible containing a chargeof TD-A thermite, the crucible has a hole in the bottom covered in aluminum tape.

When the TD-A is initiated, the reaction progresses down through mixture resulting in a pool of molten iron.

When the molten iron reaches the bottom, it melts the aluminum foil releasing the molten iron, this falls in a stream down to the munition.

The force and temperature of the falling iron makes a hole in the munition which then causes the HE filling to burn. Variable TD-A charge to suit task. The crucible is normally reusable, 4 to 5 times.


  • A reusable, adjustable stand is supplied.


  • The TD-A in the crucible is initiated by a Disarmco
  • TIS electric starter.


  • TD-A and TIS have a UN Classification 4.1, flammable solid. All other items are not classified as dangerous goods.


  • Stand-off system
  • Uses TIS starter
  • Reusable stand
  • Up to 10mm steel penetration
  • Reusable crucible (X4 to 5)

Thermit Powder Burn-through Trials – TWS, January 2015

We have undertaken a series of tests to investigate the capability of different masses of Thermit Powder to burn through mild steel plates of varying thickness. The test data was produced by Disarmco relating to their munitions deflagration systems.

Test plates tested were 3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm. The test plates used were 200m x 200m square. Short lengths of 3mm walled 53mm bore steel pipe were prepared and used for containment of the reaction such that the resulting reaction could burn through the plate. The containment pipes were sealed to the steel plate using a refractory putty to prevent any liquid metal loss between the plate and the pipe during the tests. The test plate was stood on top of a sand filled crucible to catch the liquid metal steel that burnt through the plate during the test. On completion of the test, photographs were taken of the plate to provide a record of the shape and size of any holes burnt through the plates.

Different weights of Thermit powder were used to determine which produced the optimum burn through. These weights were selected based on the thickness of the plate being tested with lower weights of Thermit powder being used for the thinner plates.

Table 1 below gives the details of the tests undertaken:

Test No Plate Thickness (mm) Thermit Powder Weight
Burnt Through Plate Details of size of burnt through hole.
1 3 100 Yes Figure 1
2 3 150 Yes Figure 2
3 3 200 Yes Figure 3
4 3 250 Yes Figure 4
5 4 150 No Figure 5
6 4 200 No Figure 6
7 4 250 Yes Figure 7
8 4 300 Yes Figure 8
9 5 250 No Figure 9
10 5 300 Yes Figure 10
11 5 350 Yes Figure 11
12 5 400 Yes Figure 12
13 6 300 Yes Figure 13
14 6 350 Yes Figure 14

Following the above tests it is considered that for Mild Steel plate up to a thickness of 6mm, a weight of 300g of Plain Thermit will ensure burn through and egress of liquid steel to materials beneath the plate.