Title: Cyclonite
CAS Registry Number: 121-82-4
CAS Name: Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine
Additional Names: cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine; sym-trimethylenetrinitramine; 1,3,5-trinitrohexahydro-s-triazine; hexogen; royal demolition explosive; RDX; T4
Molecular Formula: C3H6N6O6
Molecular Weight: 222.12
Percent Composition: C 16.22%, H 2.72%, N 37.84%, O 43.22%
Literature References: Prepd by treating methenamine with fuming nitric acid: Henning, DE 104280 (1899); Hale, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 47, 2754 (1925). Two moles of cyclonite can be obtained from one mole of methenamine, if ammonium nitrate and acetic anhydride are added: Bachmann, Sheehan, ibid. 71, 1842 (1949). Manuf by nitrolysis of hexamethylenetetramine: Ruth, US 3049543 (1962 to Olin Mathieson). Physical data relating to detonation, explosion, and blasting action: ACS Monograph Series no. 139, entitled "Science of High Explosives," M. A. Cook, Ed. (Reinhold, New York, 1958). Structure: Wood, Proc. 4th Int. Meet. Mol. Spectrosc. 2, 955 (1962). Review of toxicology and human exposure: Toxicological Profile for RDX (PB95-264255, 1995) 145 pp.
Properties: Orthorhombic crystals from acetone, mp 205-206°. d420 1.82. Very explosive. One gram dissolves in 25 ml acetone. Slightly sol in methanol, ether, ethyl acetate, glacial acetic acid. Practically insol in water, carbon tetrachloride, carbon disulfide.
Melting point: mp 205-206°
Density: d420 1.82
Derivative Type: Mixture with pentaerythritol tetranitrate
CAS Registry Number: 52441-47-1
Additional Names: Semtex
Literature References: Plastic explosive manufactured in two forms, Semtex H and Semtex A, which differ in the proportion of the two components RDX and pentaerythritol tetranitrate, q.v. Used in the destruction of PanAm Flight 103 in Dec. 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Identification by MS: J. Yinon, Can. Soc. Forensic Sci. J. 21, 46 (1988); by time of flight-MS: A. Marshall et al., Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 8, 521 (1994). Description of incidents of illicit use: A. W. Feraday in Adv. Anal. Detect. Explosives, J. Yinon, Ed. (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, 1993) pp 67-72. Analysis of Semtex H and A: J. R. Hobbs, ibid. pp. 409-427.
CAUTION: Potential symptoms of overexposure are irritation of eyes and skin; headache, irritability, fatigue, weakness, tremor, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, insomnia, convulsions. See NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (DHHS/NIOSH 97-140, 1997) p 86.
Use: High explosive; rat poison.
Cyclonium Iodide Cyclooctyne Cyclopentadiene Cyclopentamine Cyclopentane

RDX.svg RDX 3D BallStick.png
CAS number 121-82-4 YesY
PubChem 8490
ChemSpider 8177 YesY
UN number 0072, 0391, 0483
ChEBI CHEBI:24556 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C3H6N6O6
Molar mass 222.12 g mol−1
Appearance Colorless crystals
Density 1.82 g/cm3
Melting point 205.5 °C; 401.9 °F; 478.6 K
Boiling point 234 °C; 453 °F; 507 K
Explosive data
Shock sensitivity Low
Friction sensitivity Low
Explosive velocity 8750 m/s
RE factor 1.60
Main hazards Explosive
 YesY (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
Infobox references

RDX, an initialism for Research Department Explosive,[1] is an explosive nitroamine widely used in military and industrial applications. It was developed as an explosive which was more powerful than TNT, and it saw wide use in World War II. RDX is also known as cyclonite, hexogen (particularly in German and German-influenced languages), and T4. Its chemical name is cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine; name variants include cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine and cyclotrimethylene trinitramine.

In its pure, synthesized state RDX is a white, crystalline solid. It is often used in mixtures with other explosives and plasticizers, phlegmatizers or desensitizers. RDX is stable in storage and is considered one of the most powerful and brisant of the military high explosives.[2]