L-129 Minutes of the RS-RDX Round Robin (R4) Technical Meeting #2

May 2006
Ruth Doherty, NSWC-IHD, 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 natures + 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 commenced on PBXN-109 variants at IHD.