The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine), a powerful explosive; colorless, water-insoluble crystals. Density, 1.96 g/cm3 at 20°C; melting point, 278.5°–280°C; flash point, about 290°C.

Octogen is produced by treatment of hexamethylenetetramine with a mixture of nitric acid and acetic anhydride in the presence of acetic acid and ammonium nitrate. It is superior to cyclonite

in its explosive characteristics (rate of detonation, 9.1 km/sec at a density of 1.84 g/cm3; heat of explosion, 5.7 megajoules per kg, or 1,356 kcal/kg).

Octogen is of interest as a heat-resistant explosive (it is used at temperatures up to 210°C) for drilling high-temperature oil and gas wells.


Orlova, E. Iu. Khimiia i tekhnologiia brizantnykh vzryvchatykh vesh-chestv, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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