Traditional TNT is relatively unstable and can detonate when dropped or when a vehicle carrying it is hit by an IED or a bullet. But the new IMX-101 explosive while packing the same punch as TNT is "more thermally stable," says Philip Samuels, a chemical engineer at Picatinny Arsenal's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. Researchers spent four years working on the material, which is scheduled for production next year. IMX-101 is more expensive than TNT, with an initial price of about $8 a pound, compared with $6 a pound for the usual stuff. But the Army is happy to pay the price for soldiers' safety, and because the less volatile explosives can be packed more tightly into storage areas, making them more accessible to soldiers in the field.
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