A Wide Range of Pyrotechnic Devices

Our various energetics have emerged from EaglePicher Technology’s long-standing specialty battery business, and our energetics have supported most major defense programs since 1965. When you demand the highest quality and most reliable energetics, EaglePicher is the only name you need to know.

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Explosive and pyrotechnic devices transform a small input of mechanical or electrical energy into a higher level of mechanical or thermal energy, which is then applied to do practical work on a one-time basis. This is accomplished by releasing the stored energy in an explosive or pyrotechnic mixture through a precisely controlled reaction. The amount of energy released and the way it is used varies widely based on design and application.

The inherent advantages of these devices include high power-to-weight ratio, compact size, low input energy requirements and extreme reliability.


Explosive devices, such as detonators and boosters, use secondary explosives for their output charge. Explosive devices are used in artillery, mortar, cannon and bomb fuzing, and in the detonation of main warheads.

Pyrotechnic devices are actuated by small quantities of less powerful primary explosives. They take many forms and are used to provide motion, perform work, ignite materials, generate gas, and accomplish many other tasks.

Energetic Device Applications

EaglePicher manufactures a wide variety of explosive and pyrotechnic devices. Many devices are available with a built-in time delay and/or one-amp/one-watt firing characteristics. Variations also include size, power, input requirements, environmental resistance, material composition and configuration.


These devices transform pyrotechnic-generated energy into motion to perform work against an external load.

Bellows actuators produce linear or rotary motion with a relatively long stroke. When actuated, the bellows expand, following any straight or curved path established by surrounding surfaces. The extended position is retained under load. Applications include:

  • Rotating a shaft
  • pushing a mechanical load
  • Disconnecting a plug
  • Adjusting a camera
  • Arming a projectile

Dimple actuators produce short linear motion by inverting a dimpled cup. These products hold their position under load. Applications include:

  • Operating a switch, latch or relay
  • Pushing a mechanical load
  • Arming a projectile
  • Locking, unlocking or releasing

Retractable actuators produce a pulling or withdrawing type of linear motion. When actuated, a piston partially retracts into the casing and locks into place. Pyro actuator applications include:

  • Pulling a mechanical load
  • Locking, unlocking or releasing
  • Operating a switch, latch or relay


These devices use pyrotechnic-generated energy to power a wide variety of cutting mechanisms. Applications include:

  • Severing control or communication wires
  • Cutting tubing to release coolant
  • Puncturing diaphragms
  • Severing mooring cables
  • Cutting reefing lines
  • Breaking glass vials to release chemicals


Gas generators use a precisely controlled chemical reaction to produce a specified volume of gas. The resulting gas pressure is used to do mechanical work. Applications include:

  • Displacing a liquid
  • Pressurizing a container
  • Operating a cartridge-actuated device (CAD)
  • Inflating air bags
  • Expelling bladders and other ejecting devices
  • Dispensing powder from a corked vial


Using a precisely controlled pyrotechnic reaction, igniters produce a specified output of gas, flame or hot particles. Pyrotechnic igniter applications include:

  • Safety fuse
  • Propellants, heat powders
  • Thermal batteries
  • Metal/oxidant mixes
  • Other deflagrating materials


These small, lightweight devices use pyrotechnic-generated gas pressure to open or close one or more electrical circuits — instantaneously or with delays of up to six seconds. Each switch is hermetically sealed, preventing any leakage of pyrotechnic reaction products. Applications include:

  • Emergency power cut-off
  • Delay arming of fuses
  • Sequencing a series of events from a single initiation
  • Aborting ignition/detonation
  • Triggering an alarm


These quick-acting valves are used to start or stop the flow of liquids in remote environments or space applications. They can be reset for future use without removing them from the line. Applications include:

  • Operating fire extinguishing systems
  • Terminating flow of flammable gas or liquid
  • Emergency activation or shutdown of fluid systems


EaglePicher designs and manufactures customized explosive and pyrotechnic devices. We also modify existing designs to meet our customers’ requirements. Be sure to get us involved as early as possible in your design stage!

What is the meaning of energetics?

Energetics are explosive or pyrotechnic devices that transform a small input of mechanical or electrical energy into a higher level of mechanical or thermal energy that is applied to do practical work on a one-time basis.

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