IMX-101 is a high-performance insensitive high explosive composite mixture developed by BAE Systems and the United States Army to replace TNT in artillery shells, starting as soon as 2011. IMX stands for "Insensitive Munitions eXplosives", which refers to the purpose of IMX-101: to provide explosive force equivalent to TNT without its sensitivity to shocks such as gunfire, explosions from improvised explosive devices, fire, and shrapnel. For example, it is believed that a training incident in Nevada which killed seven Marines would not have occurred with the new explosive. On March 23, 2013, the United States Army ordered $780 million worth of the explosive, with a production of millions of pounds annually, to be produced by BAE at Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Tennessee. The new explosive will cost $8 per pound, compared to $6 per pound for TNT.
It is composed of ingredients including 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN) and nitrotriazolone (NTO). The nominal composition is DNAN, NQ (nitroguanidine), NTO. Trace amounts of MNA (N-methyl-p-nitroaniline) are included in some formulations to aid in processing.
|A Family of Insensitive Melt Cast Explosive Formulations: Insensitive Melt Cast Explosives manufactured at Holston Army Ammunition Plant|
|Formulation||Key Ingredients||Replaces||Purpose||Qualification Status (2012)|
|IMX-101||DNAN + NTO + NQ||TNT||Artillery and other large caliber munitions||Material qualified; Type qualified for 155mm M795, on-going for 155mm M1122 and 105mm projectiles|
|IMX-104||DNAN + NTO + RDX||Comp B||Mortar applications||Material qualified; Type qualification on-going for 81mm mortar, 60mm & 120mm to follow|
|PAX-48||DNAN + NTO + HMX||Comp B||Mortar and tank ammunition||Material qualified; Type qualification achieved for 120mm IM HE-T tracer round (NAMMO)|
|OSX-12||DNAN + NTO + RDX + Al||PAX-28||High blast applications||Material under evaluation|
|PAX-21||DNAN + RDX + AP + MNA||Main fill for the 60mm M768 Mortar Rounds||Currently in-use in theater|
|PAX-41||DNAN + RDX + MNA[clarification needed]||Main fill for the Spider Grenade, thus a low critical diameter is required.|
The performance of PAX-28, a thermobaric, containing a mixture of RDX, DNAN, Al, AP and MNA was found to have an indoor explosive equivalency factor of 1.62 when compared to Composition B. OSX-12 is being studied as a replacement to PAX-28.
Like Composition B, IMX formulations are melt-castable without thermal degradation, and are thus processed into munitions by a melt pour process starting with a batch melt kettle heated by a steam heat exchanger.
- The Characterization of IM Explosive Candidates for TNT Replacement
- Explosive Ingredients and Compositions for the IM M795 Artillery
- BAE IMX-101 Explosive Approved To Replace TNT In US Army Artillery
- DTIC Background and Introduction to IMX-101, -102 and -103 Archived 2010-08-15 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Application of New IM Explosive Candidates - DTIC Online Archived 2012-10-03 at the Wayback Machine.
- Army Approves Safer Explosive To Replace TNT
- Allison Barrie (2013-03-26). "Bye bye, TNT: New generation of explosives for the Army". Fox News.
- Mark Thompson (2010-11-13). "Less Dangerous Explosives". Time Magazine.
- This table is closely modelled on Virgil Fung; et al. (2012). "2012 IMEMTS, Las Vegas, NV (S2DSEA2012-0148) Process Improvement and Optimization of Insensitive Explosive IMX-101 2012 Insensitive Munitions & Energetic Material Technology Symposium" Check
|url=value (help). U.S. Army. (Strangely, DNS failed to resolve dtic.mil - citing web cache. Note composition ratios add to 100.300, at least in the cached version)
- "Estimations of Vapor Pressures by Thermogravimetric Analysis of the Insensitive Munitions IMX-101, IMX-104, and Individual Components". Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics. 39: 236–242. doi:10.1002/prep.201300069.
- "Photochemical transformation of the insensitive munitions compound 2,4-dinitroanisole". Science of The Total Environment. 443: 692–699. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.11.033.
- "Insenstive High Explosives (IHE)".
- "DEVELOPMENT & OPTIMIZATION OF A PRODUCTION METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING PAX-41" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2013.
- "IMX-104 High Explosive (HE) Loading of 81mm & 120mm Mortars" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-06-04.