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X-ray orientation and hardness experiments on RDX explosive crystals

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RDX (cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine) explosive crystals, typically approaching 5 mm in size, were grown by evaporation from acetone solution using production-grade crystals as starting material. Two distinctly different morphologies resulted, including one that apparently has not been previously reported in other investigations. These morphologies were characterized using Laue X-ray diffraction methods and an optical trace analysis, both involving a stereographic projection description. Microindentation experiments were performed on different prominent growth surfaces of several selected laboratorygrown crystals having the conventional morphology type. The hardness results are compared with measurements made directly on several production-grade crystals having a different morphology, and are compared with preceding measurements on a crystal having the previously unreported morphology. The latter crystal exhibited highly localized plastic deformation at the indentations as revealed by dislocation etch-pitting. Observations are made regarding the dislocation structure and cleavage properties of RDX based on its orthorhombic unit cell.

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Elban, W.L., Hoffsommer, J.C. & Armstrong, R.W. X-ray orientation and hardness experiments on RDX explosive crystals. J Mater Sci 19, 552–566 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00553580

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  • Dislocation Structure
  • Growth Surface
  • Acetone Solution
  • Localize Plastic
  • Stereographic Projection