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(cyclotrimethylenetrinitroamine), a powerful secondary (high-explosive) explosive. It is a colorless, water-insoluble crystalline powder; density, 1.82 g/cm3; melting point, 204°-205° C (with decomposition). Upon further heating, it ignites (in large amounts or in a closed container, it explodes), and upon combustion it develops a temperature of more than 3000° C. A powerful blow or a detonating cap detonates hexogen; the rate of detonation is approximately 8.4 km/sec, and the heat of explosion is 5.4 megajoules per kg (1,300 kilocalories per kg).
Hexogen is usually produced from hexamethylenetetramine (urotropin) and nitric acid. It is used for ammunition, in the preparation of detonators, and as a component in industrial explosives (ammonites, permissible explosives, and so on). Hexogen is dangerous to handle, and when used in ammunition it is mixed with other, less sensitive explosives—most often with trinitrotoluene—or retarders (paraffin, ceresin, or wax). During World War II, the annual production of hexogen was hundreds of thousands of tons.
REFERENCEOrlova, E. Iu. Khimiia i tekhnologiia brizantnykh vzryvchatykh veshchestv. Moscow, 1960.
B. N. KONDRIKOV