Say Goodbye to TNT!

The United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering CenterTracy Robillard works for Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs.

The U.S. Army recently qualified a new explosive that has the same lethality as traditional TNT, but is far less likely to explode if dropped, shot at or hit by a roadside bomb during transport.

The new formula, called IMX-101 (Insensitive Munitions Explosive 101), is proven to be safer and more stable than TNT, which ultimately eases the warfighter’s job when it comes to transporting, storing and loading ammunition containing the new explosive.

“It allows us to meet the lethality of TNT, while being more thermally stable,” said Philip Samuels, a chemical engineer with Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC).

“We’re taking the conventional explosive and replacing it with a group of ingredients that are less sensitive.”

Anthony Di Stasio, ARDEC Project Officer, said, “Because it’s less sensitive, the Army can store more shells in a magazine, they can store more of it in one building at a closer distance to the Soldiers. It significantly reduces the logistics burden both here in the U.S. and overseas.”

Throughout the last four years, experts at ARDEC and Project Manager, Combat Ammunition Systems (PM CAS) have worked together to select, test and prepare a more stable explosive to meet the Department of Defense requirement for insensitive munitions.

The goal was to find a safer, less sensitive formula that could easily be fitted for use in the Army’s existing large-caliber projectiles.

In addition to the Army, Marines will also benefit from the new IMX-101 formula, slated to replace traditional TNT in large-caliber projectiles like the 155mm high-explosive projectile pictured here. The Picatinny team has worked with Marines every step of the way in developing the new insensitive munitions.

In addition to the Army, Marines will also benefit from the new IMX-101 formula, slated to replace traditional TNT in large-caliber projectiles like the 155mm high-explosive projectile pictured here. The Picatinny Arsenal team has worked with Marines every step of the way in developing the new insensitive munitions. (Photo: Picatinny Arsenal)

During a slow cook-off test, the IMX-101-loaded projectile is exposed to high temperatures over an extended period. Instead of blowing up like traditional TNT, the explosive simply melts from the top of the artillery shell, similar to a volcano effect.

During a slow cook-off test, the IMX-101-loaded projectile is exposed to high temperatures over an extended period. Instead of blowing up like traditional TNT, the explosive simply melts from the top of the artillery shell, similar to a volcano effect. (Photo: Picatinny Arsenal)

The Picatinny Arsenal, located in the northwest corner of New Jersey, is a one-of-a-kind facility that provides virtually all of the lethal mechanisms used in Army weapon systems and those of the other military services. This blog post was developed from the original story by Picatinny Public Affairs.

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  • Bathazar the Stupid XXIII

    Very Cool!! Will save a lot of lives!

  • Njseabee7

    We have insensitive politicians, so we may as well have insensitive explosives.

  • Federepubelge

    ???!!! Continue to watch, do not be surprised by Trinitrol (TNT) nor by the new one !