L-130 Minutes of the RS-RDX Round Robin (R4) Technical Meeting, ICT 2006

July 2006
Ruth Doherty (USA)Duncan Watt (Energetic Materials)

In November 2003, a workshop was held in Meppen, Germany with the aims being:

  1. To identify what is meant by Reduced Sensitivity;
  2. To identify analytical methods that can be used on the crystalline material to distinguish RS-RDX from normal RDX;
  3. To develop a plan for a programme that will result in a STANAG describing both normal RDX and RS-RDX. This will include analytical method development and validation.

The key activity identified as the way forward to complete aim #3 above was identified as a round robin programme to evaluate laboratory methods to differentiate between normal and RS- RDX types.

The RS-RDX Round Robin (R4) involved the sourcing of 7 RDX natures from 5 different suppliers. The USN-purchased materials arrived in the US, and were carefully re-packaged and distributed to the 16 laboratories in 9 countries.

Once the laboratories received their samples (2kg of each RDX nature + 1g each of pure RDX and pure HMX) the actual laboratory assessment was conducted following the test methods distributed to all facilities. These were the laboratory methods identified at the Meppen workshop (aim #2 defined above). The results were then returned to MSIAC and NSWC-IHD for compilation and preliminary evaluation.

Shock sensitivity evaluation of the material was conducted via IMAD gap testing of PBXN-109 samples prepared at NSWCIHD using each of the 7 RDX natures. NOL LSGT has also been performed on PBXN-109 variants at IHD.

A meeting was held in Bristol in April 2006 to analyse the results obtained for the RS-RDX Round Robin (R4) programme and confirm a way forward to allow STANAG development.

In April 2006 in Bristol, a meeting was held to analyse the results obtained for the RS-RDX Round Robin (R4) programme and confirm a way forward to allow STANAG development.

Areas analysed at the Bristol meeting included:

  • Laboratory test results for each of the methods and RDX natures;
  • Results of gap testing on PBXN-109 prepared from the RDX natures;
  • Problems encountered with the methods and improvements to the written procedures;
  • Additional methods being explored independently by some of the labs;
  • Way forward to finalise the testing programme and draft STANAG 4022 Edition 5 to include RS-RDX as a clearly defined material.