Assessment of DEMN-based IM Formulations for Octol Replacement

Report No. ARL-RP-387
Authors: Neelam Mehta; Dr. Brian D. Roos; Dr. Eric J. Bukowski
Date/Pages: August 2012; 14 pages
Abstract: Octol, a high energy explosive composed of cyclotetramethylene-tetranitramine (HMX) and trinitrotoluene (TNT), is a commonly used explosive fill in several anti-armor warheads. In order to solve the viscosity problems experienced during loading, several Octol analogs were developed such as the 75/25, 70/30 and 65/35 HMX/TNT formulations. However, to meet IM requirements, shock sensitive TNT needs to be replaced within the formulations. At the October 2007 IM/EM conference, sensitivity and performance data was presented for the top three IM explosive candidates for TNT replacement. One of the three formulation candidates presented, IMX-103, is based on a nitrate salt eutectic known as the DEMN explosive. The DEMN formulation not only exceeds the TNT performance requirement, but also passed 4 of 6 IM tests including the shaped charge jet impact (SCJI) test. A sensitized formulation was later developed and demonstrated IM gains over Comp B in the 120 mm mortar projectile. Based on these previous successes, an effort was initiated to develop DEMN formulations sensitized with HMX for the replacement of TNT in the octol analogs. Small scale safety data, thermal analysis, performance and shock sensitivity are reported for various analogs of DEMN sensitized with HMX. This data will be compared to the various analogs of octols and previously characterized DEMN formulations for TNT and Comp B applications.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2012