Energetic materials being sensitive in nature require careful handling during manufacture, storage, transportation and field utilization. Special care is required when these materials are declared Unserviceable (US), degraded or deteriorated. Original high explosive seldom initiates under ordinary circumstances unless appropriate explosive train is provided. But US explosive materials possess high risk of inadvertent initiation. The present study is aimed at finding out thermal behavior and possible degradation mechanism of US Composition B (Comp B) explosive containing RDX and Tri-nitrotoluene (TNT), so that viable means for reutilization of these unwanted energetic materials can be sorted out. Solvent based technique has been used for the successful recovery of US Comp B explosive ingredients. Various analytical techniques such as Thermo gravimetric/ Differential Thermal Analysis, Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-Ray Diffraction and Fourier Transform Infra Red have been used for the analysis of five types of explosive samples to provide insight into thermal behaviour and structure of each explosive sample. Finally, analytical results of both recovered TNT and RDX have been compared with original TNT and RDX samples to find out any possible changes in their thermal behaviour. It has been noticed that the purity and other characteristics like melting point, decomposition temperatures of the recovered versions are almost comparable with original TNT and RDX.

Muhammad Farooq Ahmed, Abdul Qadeer Malik and Arshad Hussain