O-112 Lessons from the RS-RDX Round Robin for Future Insensitive Energetic Materials

March 2007
Ruth M. Doherty (NSWC-IHD, USA), Duncan Watt (Energetic Materials)

From 2003 through 2005 an international interlaboratory comparison (Round Robin) of seven lots of RDX from five different manufacturers was conducted, coordinated jointly by the Naval Surface Warfare Center and the NATO Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center. The goal of the program was twofold: (1) to validate some of the methods included in an update of STANAG 4022 (RDX), and (2) to identify some property or properties of crystalline RDX that could be linked to the sensitivity of PBXs based on that material. The study included 16 participating laboratories from nine nations.

The study revealed some shortcomings in the proposed methods of STANAG 4022 Edition 4 and failed to produce a single metric that could be applied to a lot of RDX to determine whether or not it could be designated Reduced Sensitivity RDX (RS-RDX). However the study did provide some insights into features of the crystalline materials that could be used in at least a qualitative way to assess the quality of the RDX and suggested some extensions of the method that might be applicable to future attempts to produce insensitive energetic ingredients.