Comparative analysis of vaporization and thermal decomposition of cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (Rdx)

Mayank Khichar, Lalit Patidar, Stefan Thynell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Considering the need for accurate vaporization rates in the propellant combustion models, sublimation and vaporization rates of cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX) have been estimated over a wide range of temperatures. Simultaneous thermal analysis was carried at various slow heating rates, 5, 10, and 15°C/min, using a coupled TGA/DSC-FTIR system. In the solid phase, the mass loss occurs mainly due to the sublimation of RDX, whereas, in the liquid phase, both vaporization and thermal decomposition play a significant role. The extent of thermal decomposition was estimated using a computational model based on a recently developed detailed liquid-phase decomposition mechanism for RDX. For each of the heating rates, a suitable match between computational and experimental mass loss and species evolution profiles was achieved. As evident from the FTIR data, a major part of the mass loss occurs because of the evolution of decomposition products, such as N2 O, CH2 O, NO2, NO, HCN, H2 O, CO, and CO2 . Results show that vaporization accounts for 29.6, 34, and 35.9% of the total mass loss for the 5, 10, and 15°C/min heating rates, respectively. Relatively more RDX vaporizes at higher heating rates because of the initiation of the boiling phenomenon at higher sample temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1098-1107
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative analysis of vaporization and thermal decomposition of cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (Rdx)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this