Research Department Explosive (RDX), also known as Royal Demolition Explosive, cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine, cyclonite, and hexogen, is one of the highly powerful explosives used in various military and civilian applications. The explosive is primarily used in mine blasting, rock excavation, drilling and oil recovery, and military ammunition, warheads, demolition of old buildings, and fireworks and pyrotechnics, among others.
The market comprises a limited number of players engaged in manufacturing RDX owing to the high risk in production and stringent government regulations regarding manufacturing. However, several leading players are engaged in developing different formulations and widening their scope of application to sustain the increasing competition.
Although RDX has been in use for the longest time, its applications continue to expand, albeit gradually. Once used for military applications only, the use of RDX is now being explored in various other fields. The product has become stagnant in terms of its usage in the key application, but it is still finding new opportunities in various other sectors, which will sustain in the market in the long run.
Increasing urbanization and growing awareness regarding the use of superior quality construction materials for infrastructural development are leading to the development of urban renewal projects in different regions across the globe. However, for urban renewal projects, demolition of old buildings is required, which creates a demand for explosives such as RDX.
Growing safety concerns and the need to safeguard national borders are expected to encourage governments of different nations to increase their spending on military and defense arms and ammunition. The U.S. Department of State estimated in a report that the annual expenditure of the world military rose from about USD 1.35–1.89 trillion in 2005 to about USD 1.73-2.76 trillion in 2015. Moreover, on average, the world military expenditure per armed force member rose by about 29–50% from 2005 to 2015.
Recently, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimated that global military expenditure reached about USD 1739 billion in 2017, accounting for around 2.2% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). The U.S., China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and India were the top five spenders on defense and military applications and collectively accounted for about 60% of the global military spending. However, spending in the U.S. remained quite stagnant in 2017 compared to 2016. On the other hand, China, Saudi Arabia, and India witnessed a growth of 5.6%, 9.2%, and 5.5%, respectively.
Stringent regulations in various regions are hindering market growth to an extent. Different governing bodies such as federal and state governments and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) have laid down regulations to curb the hazardous effects of RDX on humans and animals as RDX remains in the water, air, and soil after its exposure in the environment.
The federal and local governments of different states in the U.S.have implemented regulations pertaining to the use of explosives for air quality control, solid waste disposal, storage, manufacture, and use. For instance, regulatory agencies in Colorado and New York have specified RDX cleanup levels for the water of less than 1 part per billion (ppb). The local government of Massachusetts has established a reportable concentration of 0.001 mg/L for the use of groundwater as drinking water and a level of 50 mg/L for exposure of RDX to indoor air.
RDX can be used to perform different functions in different end-use applications such as explosives in military and defense applications and pyrotechnics and propellants in aerospace and advanced ammunition development. Based on type, the global research department explosive (RDX) market is segmented into explosives, pyrotechnics, and others.
The explosives segment held the highest share of the global research department explosive (RDX) market in 2017, as RDX is significantly used in both military and civilian-based applications.Increasing terrorist attacks and government expenditure on military and defense are expected to encourage the use of RDX as an explosive to safeguard national borders during the forecast period. RDX is increasingly being used in Cast PBX formulations, which have promising applications in warfare ammunition.
On the basis of application, the use of RDX can be categorized into military and civilians. The military application held almosta 51% share of the global research department explosive (RDX) market in the year 2017, and the segment is expected to continue leading during the forecast period, 2019–2028. This can be attributed to the ability of RDX to create higher explosive impact than TNT and ease initiating with mercury fulminate. Military and defense applications are witnessing increased demand for explosives to increase their portfolio of war weapons and ammunition as well as to counter the increasing terrorist attacks.
RDX is commonly used as a base charge for detonators in military applications. It can also be used as a mixture with other explosives such as TNT to form cyclotrons, which are used as a bursting charge for aerial bombs and torpedoes. Moreover, it is used as a filler in different ammunition compounds, for example, as a filler ingredient in plastic bonded explosives for military warheads.
Europe's research department explosive (RDX) market was valued at USD 2,879 million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 4,253 million by 2028 at a CAGR of 3.6% during the forecast period. Key RDX manufacturers such asEurenco, Chemring Group PLC, PRVA ISKRA – NAMENSKA PROIZVODNJA AD, and Nitro-Chemhave a significant presence in Europe with well-established production facilities. The growing efforts of leading manufacturers on new product development and widening application scope are also expected to augment the regional market.
The increasing conventional deterrence from Russia and rising terrorist attacks have compelled various European countries to investin strengthening their military bases. For instance, the governments of different nations such as Germany, France, Russia, and the U.K. have increased their spending on military and defense, which is expected to accelerate the demand for RDX during the forecast period. For instance, the military spending of Germany, France, Russia, and the U.K. was valued at USD 44.3 billion, USD 57.8 billion, USD 66.3 billion, and USD 47.2 billion respectively in 2017.
Some of the key participants in the global research department explosives market include Eurenco, Chemring Group PLC, PRVA ISKRA–NAMENSKA PROIZVODNJA AD, BAE Systems, Nitro-Chem, Austin Powder, Dyno Nobel, Solar Industries India Limited, Jet Research Center (JRC), and BME.