Chemical and Physical Characterization of Comp A-3 Type II Prills

Report No. ARL-TR-6498
Authors: Rose A. Pesce-Rodriguez and Stephanie M. Piraino
Date/Pages: June 2013; 46 pages
Abstract: Prills of Composition A-3, Type II (Comp A-3) were characterized to provide information on the composition and properties of the explosive for implementation into modeling and simulation tools as part of the Multi-scale Response of Energetic Materials (MREM) program. Optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to study the interaction between the RDX fill and polyethylene binder. The components of the formulation as well as residual solvent from the RDX and several impurities carried over from the polyethylene emulsion were identified using desorption-gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (D-GC-MS) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Quantitative analysis of nitramines and morpholine were performed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The reduced indentation modulus and hardness values of RDX crystals of different orientations were also measured. Thermal behavior was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), from which the percent crystallinity was estimated. The chemical and physical characterization of Comp A-3 prills is the first step toward understanding the microstructure of the pressed explosive and provides critical information for the development of a high fidelity particle-based course-grain model for predicting energetic material response.
Distribution: Approved for public release
  Download Report ( 3.174 MBytes )
If you are visually impaired or need a physical copy of this report, please visit and contact DTIC.

Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2013