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EXPLOSIVE CHEMISTRY

Over the last two decades, ISLAND PYROCHEMICAL INDUSTRIES (IPI) has established itself as a reputable supplier of explosive materials for both military and civilian applications. IPI explosives are manufactured both to U.S. military specifications and to foreign military specifications.

IPI’s unmatched experience in shipping explosives worldwide, and in the handling and storage of explosives, have earned it the trust of Load, Assembly and Pack (LAP) Plants and Ordnance Factories worldwide. Our customers can rely on our quality, dependability and superior customer service.

IPI has successfully supplied all the explosives listed below, and others that are not listed on this page. For a complete list of explosives, kindly contact us at office@islandgroup.com.

See also: Explosive and Propellant Additives

RDX (Hexogen)

RDX is also known as Hexogen, Cyclonite and Cyclotri-methylene Trinitramine.

This explosive compound has an extremely low volatility. It is a white solid with a density of 1.806 g/cc and nitrogen content of 37.84%. Military grade RDX is offered in accordance with MIL-R-398C.

Pure RDX is used in press-loaded projectiles. Cast loading is accomplished by blending RDX with a relatively low melting point substance. RDX is also used as a base charge in detonators and in blasting caps.

  • Compositions in which RDX is melted with wax are called Composition A (see details below).
  • Compositions in which RDX is mixed with TNT are called Composition B (see details below).
  • Compositions in which RDX is blended with a non-explosive plasticizer are called Composition C (see details below).

IPI also offers a specific grade of RDX containing 1% desensitizing wax and 0.5% graphite for the oil drilling industry. This grade of RDX is used to produce shaped charges such as open-faced perforators and encapsulated perforators. It may also be used in boosters and explosive cartridges.

HMX (Octogen)

HMX is also known as Octogen. This explosive compound is a white, crystalline solid with a nitrogen content of 37.84%. Military grade HMX is offered in accordance with MIL-H-45444B.

HMX is used as an explosive charge when desensitized, as a booster charge in mixtures with TNT (octols), and as an oxidizer in solid rocket and gun propellants.

Two grades of HMX are used for military applications:

  • Grade A has a minimum purity of 93% and a 7% maximum RDX content.
  • Grade B has a minimum purity of 98% and a 2% maximum RDX content.

IPI also offers an ultra high purity grade of HMX containing 99.8% minimum HMX.  This grade is primarily used in the manufacturing of perforators for the oil drilling industry.

TADA (Tetraacetyldiamino Hexaazaisowurtzitane)

TADA is an intermediate precursor used into the synthesis of the final product as CL-20 (also known as Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane or HNIW.)

Compared to HMX alone, CL-20 offers a substantial performance increase in numerous ordnance systems, e.g. increased anti-armor penetration, enhanced missile payload and velocity, increased underwater torpedo effectiveness, and improved gun propellant impetus.

In addition, TADA-based CL-20 co-crystal exhibits low sensitivity to shock and temperature, making it compliant with IM (Insensitive Munitions) requirements.

To date, however, the manufacturing costs of an intermediate precursor renders CL-20 as a prohibitively expensive substitute for HMX and/or RDX (the initial goal of the program.)

IPI and its manufacturing partners have recently developed a lower-cost, ultra-high purity TADA. This development allows the production of a less expensive CL-20 product, approaching the effective cost of an HMX based propellant/explosive.

TADA is specified in accordance with CAS #181940-38-5.

Nitroguanidine (Picrite)

Because of the material's low temperature of explosion (about 2,098°C), nitroguanidine is used in triple-base propellants. The addition of nitroguanidine makes the triple-base propellant practically flashless and less erosive than nitrocellulose-nitroglycerine (double base propellant) of comparable force.

Structure (2k)Trinitrotoluene (TNT)

2,4,6-trinitrotoluene has been the most widely used military explosive since World War I.

The advantages of TNT include low cost, safety in handling, fairly high explosive power, good chemical and thermal stability, compatibility with other explosives, a low melting point favorable for melt casting operations and moderate toxicity.

MIL-T-248C specifies two types of TNT, Type I has a minimum melting point of 80.2°C; Type II has a minimum melting point of 80.4°C.

Composition A
Composition A explosives consist of a series of formulations of RDX and a desensitizer. IPI offers Composition A-3, A-4, A-5, and A-6.

Composition B
Composition B explosives contain various mixtures of RDX and TNT, in proportions of approximately 60% RDX and 40% TNT. IPI offers Composition B (MIL-C-401), Composition B3 (MIL-C-45113), and Composition B4 (MIL-C-46652).

Composition C
Composition C explosives are a mixture of RDX, a plastic binder such as polyisobutylene (MIL-P-13298A), and a plasticizer.

Tritonal
Tritonal is a silvery solid that contains 80% of TNT and 20% of atomized aluminum powder. Tritonal is used as filler in bombs and shells. IPI supplies the Aluminum Powder and the TNT required for the production of tritonal separately. Aluminum Powder is available in accordance with MIL-A-512 and MIL-DTL-512C Type III – atomized.

Plastic Bonded Explosives (PBX)

PBX is a term applied to a variety of explosive mixtures which have high mechanical strength, good explosive properties, excellent chemical stability, relative insensitivity to handling and shock, and high thermal output sensitivity. PBX’s contain a high percentage of basic explosives such as RDX, HMX, HNS, or PETN in a mixture with a polymeric binder.

IPI manufactures various types of PBX's. Please contact us for additional details.

 
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