O-098 Reduced Sensitivity RDX Round Robin Programme

December 2004
Ruth M. Doherty IHDIV/NSWC, Indian Head, MD USA, Duncan Watt (Energetic Materials)

One of the discoveries that has generated much interest in recent years in the IM community is Reduced Sensitivity RDX (RS-RDX). This material, when incorporated in PBX formulations, can confer reduced shock sensitivity compared with equivalent formulations made with typical RDX produced by the acetic anhydride process. Currently, despite the efforts of many laboratories worldwide, there are no agreed analytical methods for discriminating between the different RDX sensitivity grades at the crystal level.

NIMIC, in support of NATO AC-326/Sub-Group 1 (Energetic Materials) held an expertsmeeting in Meppen, Germany on 17-20 November 2003 in order to clarify the situation. The purpose of this meeting was to assemble and analyse data regarding the different types of RS-RDX available and suitable laboratory techniques to differentiate between RS-RDX and normal RDX.1 This paper provides a brief evaluation of the data that is available to date on various forms of RDX and their shock sensitivities in PBXs.

A detailed description will then be given for the US-lead international RS-RDX Round Robin (R4) programme, involving NATO, PfP and other invited nations, including:

  • The analytical techniques that will be assessed for their ability to discriminate between forms of RDX with relatively high and relatively low sensitivity;
  • The structure of the round-robin programme including government and commercial organisations involved, along with the RS-RDX samples that will be assessed;
  • A brief review of the data acquisition and analysis process to be applied;
  • Additional techniques for RS-EM analysis (Isentropic Compression Experiments, xray Diffraction, thermal decomposition).

Presentation details

This paper was presented to the IM & EM Technology Symposium held on 15-17 November 2004 in San Francisco, CA, USA