Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine

Also referred to as cyclonite, or hexogen, RDX is a white crystalline solid usually used in mixtures with other explosives, oils, or waxes; it is rarely used alone. It has a high degree of stability in storage and is considered the most powerful of the military high explosives. RDX compositions are mixtures of RDX, other explosive ingredients, and desensitizers or plasticizers. Incorporated with other explosives or inert material at the manufacturing plants, RDX forms the base for the following common military explosives: Composition A, composition B, composition C, HBX, H-6 and Cyclotol.

RDX is made by the nitration of hexamethylene tetramine, better known by its trivial name of hexamine.

    CH2 ----- N
   /         / \
  /        CH2  \
 /         /     \
N - CH2 - N       CH2
 \        \      /
  \       CH2   /
   \        \  /
    CH2 ----- N

      Hexamine

            NO2
            /
      CH2--N
     /      \
O2N-N        CH2
     \      /
      CH2--N
            \
             NO2

       RDX

RDX, molecular formula C3H6N6O6. Ideal detonation velocity 8500 ms-1 at a density of 1820 Kgm-3.

RDX stands for Royal Demolition EXplosive. The American name for it is the familiar cyclonite.

RDX is often mixed with other explosives and plasticizers to produce famous compositions such as C4 and Semtex.

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