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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
ESCI SJR: 0.142 SNIP: 0.16 CiteScore™: 0.29

ISSN Print: 2150-766X
ISSN Online: 2150-7678

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.v5.i1-6.30
pages 3-21

CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROCESSES THAT CONTROL THE THERMAL DECOMPOSITION OF RDX AND HMX

Richard Behrens
Sandia National Laboratories, Combustion Research Facility, Livermore, California, USA
Sean Maharrey
Sandia National Laboratories, Combustion Research Facility, P.O. Box 969 Livermore, California, USA

ABSTRACT

Our current understanding of the chemical and physical processes that control the thermal decomposition of RDX and HMX, based on experiments conducted with a simultaneous thermogravimetric modulated beam mass spectrometer (STMBMS), is presented. The rate-limiting reactions and physical processes that control the decomposition of RDX and HMX in both the solid and liquid phases, which have been elucidated from over five hundred STMBMS experiments on these materials, are summarized in a general reaction scheme. This general reaction scheme is discussed and illustrated with selected results from our experimental work. The reaction scheme shows the various pathways that lead from solid reactants to final gas-phase products and incorporates our current knowledge of the intermediate reactions and the effects of physical processes and changes in particle morphology on the overall reaction scheme. Both interactions between the chemical reaction pathways and the effects of physical processes and particle morphology on the chemical reactions create a complex nonlinear decomposition process for these materials. Our current state of understanding of these interactions in the overall reaction scheme is presented.


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