Hexogen


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Hexogen

 

(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.

REFERENCE

Orlova, E. Iu. Khimiia i tekhnologiia brizantnykh vzryvchatykh veshchestv. Moscow, 1960.

B. N. KONDRIKOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Various experts have confirmed that only the Russian military and intelligence services have access to hexogen explosives in Russia--it is next to impossible for independent terrorist groups to acquire it;
Gordonia bacteria have only been classed as a separate group of bacteria since 1997 but they have already proved useful as they are able to degrade a wide range of environmental pollutants including phthalates (used in plastics), rubber and hazardous compounds such as the explosive hexogen (cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine).
RDX: Also referred to as cyclonite or hexogen, RDX is a white crystalline solid usually used in mixtures with other explosives, oils or waxes.
However, Russian investigators claim to have found traces of explosive material called Hexogen (identified as the material used in several previous terrorist attacks on ground-based targets) in the wreckage of both aircraft.
Andrei Fetisov said there was no doubt that both aircraft crashed due to explosives after traces of the high explosive hexogen were found in the wreckage, reports The Associated Press.
General Andrei Fetisov, chief of the scientific department at the Federal Security Service, said he is certain there were explosions on both planes, and reiterated that traces of the high explosive hexogen were found in the wreckage.
The substance hexogen was found on a Tu-134 jet which crashed south of Moscow.
Another service spokesman, Nikolai Zakharov, revealed that explosive experts found hexogen in the scattered remains of a Tu-154 that carried 46 people.
They have also been able to trace the origins of the explosives, more than 1,000 kilograms of TNT, C4 and hexogen," Spiegel said.
General Andrei Fetisov, chief of the scientific department at the Federal Security Service, said investigators are certain there were explosions on both planes and reiterated that traces of the high explosive hexogen were found in the wreckage.
The high explosive hexogen has now been found in both the Volga-Aviaexpress Tu-134 and the Sibir Airlines Tu-154.
Hexogen is the explosive that officials said was used in the 1999 apartment bombings that killed some 300 people in Russia, blamed on Chechen separatists.