O-109 Reduced Sensitivity RDX Round robin Programme - Update

July 2006
Ruth M. Doherty (NSWC-IHD, USA), Lori A. Nock (NSWC-IHD, USA), Duncan Watt (Energetic Materials)

Reduced sensitivity RDX (RS-RDX) has generated much interest in recent years in the IM community. This material, when incorporated in some high explosive formulations, can confer reduced shock sensitivity compared with equivalent formulations made with normal-sensitivity RDX. Although under examination for a number of years, there existed a gap with no agreed and validated analytical methods for discriminating between the different RDX sensitivity grades at the crystal level.

A round robin testing programme has been underway for the last 18 months involving the analysis of seven different RDX lots by 16 different laboratories spread throughout nine MSIAC/NATO/PfP nations. Analytical testing of the crystalline RDX materials has included the techniques of: microscopy (Optical and Scanning Electron), calorimetric techniques, particle size analysis, chromatography (HPLC and GC) and crystal density and distribution measurements. The final outcome of the round robin programme will be to support NATO AC-326/Sub-Group 1 (Energetic Materials) in developing an updated version of STANAG-4022 containing RS-RDX as a clearly defined and specified material, with appropriate validated analytical techniques.

The presentation at ICT that this paper supports will provide an overview of the progress made to date in the round robin including laboratory analysis, shock sensitivity testing of samples and a brief introduction into the findings of technical workshop held on Monday 24th April 2006 to further the activities of this multinational RS-RDX Round Robin (R4) programme.