3-Dimensional Quartz Phenolic

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3-Dimensional Quartz Phenolic (3DQP) [1] is a phenolic-based material composed of a quartz cloth material woven into a seamless sock shape cloth impregnated with a phenolic resin and hot-pressed. When cured, 3DQP can be machined in the same way as metals and is tough and fire-resistant. 3DQP is used for the manufacture of Nuclear Weapon Re-entry vehicles (RV).

The quartz material 'hardens' the RV protecting the nuclear warhead against high-energy neutrons emitted by exo-atmospheric Anti-ballistic missile (ABM) bursts before re-entry.[2].

3DQP was first used on the British Chevaline Improved Front End (IFE) for the Royal Navy's UGM-27 Polaris system that was in service from 1982 to 1996, when it was replaced by Trident D5.


A licence to manufacture 3DQP in the US was acquired and production was undertaken by AVCO, one of the two suppliers of US RV's, the other being General Electric. The Chevaline ReB as well as subsequent UK ReBs were manufactured by AVCO, now part of Textron.

Later, the supply of test samples of 3DQP to France without UK permission caused friction between the British Government and AVCO, and action in the US courts by the British government [3].

See also


  1. Public Record Office, London. TNA PREM 15-1359
  2. Public Record Office, London. TNA CAB 168/27
  3. Public Record Office, London. TNA DEFE 24/896


External links