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Morphix Technologies TraceX Explosives Detection Kit

The TraceX Explosives Detection Kit is designed to help identify bombers, bomb-makers and their bomb-making facilities. It detects the most common explosive materials and their precursors at trace levels in a single test.

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The TraceX Explosives Detection Kit is designed to help identify bombers, bomb-makers and their bomb-making facilities. It detects the most common explosive materials and their precursors at trace levels in a single test.

Explosives remain the weapon of choice for terrorists around the world. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are a threat from international terrorist organizations and local, home-grown terrorists as well. Sadly, Home Made Explosives (HMEs) and IEDs have become a fact of modern life. Military, law enforcement and intelligence personnel have a dual-role: uncovering the bomb networks and systems before the bombers do harm, and investigating an incident after it occurs. In many cases, detecting just a trace of explosive material can make all the difference.

A traditional portable electronic explosive detection device requires a great deal of specialized training, a large budget and regular maintenance. While there is a need for these electronic portable trace explosive detectors and larger trace explosive detection systems, there is a growing demand for colorimetric explosive detection kits for use in the field.

A number of these kits have existed for some time; however they often require the user to mix chemicals, perform serial analyses, conduct multiple swabs or tests, and then use a chart to interpret the results. Said plainly, existing colorimetric explosive detection kits are difficult to use, especially in stressful situations. Even worse, many colorimetric explosive detection kits can expose the user to dangerous chemicals, and expose the kit to contamination from the environment or the user, leading to unreliable results. Some colorimetric explosive detection kits can only be used for bulk detection; however explosive trace detection is critical in many real-world applications.

The TraceX explosives detection kit is much more convenient. Simple to use and low cost, it is an explosive detector that can be used by every warfighter or law enforcement officer. With a single swab, the TraceX explosives kit detects all the major families of explosive materials and their precursors. Thanks to the TraceX’s simple color-change alert system, a single color indicates the presence of a particular family of explosive material. No longer does the user have to conduct serial tests, and then try to interpret the results.

The TraceX explosives detection kit was developed by Morphix Technologies under contract from the US Department of Defense, so you know it’s tough. It is small enough to fit in a cargo pocket, lightweight and rugged. Each detection kit comes in its own disposable protective plastic case, so it will be ready to use when needed. No more broken ampules from rough handling, as can happen with other explosive detectors. And, the innovative collection system protects the sample from user contamination, so you can have confidence in the result. As the name implies, TraceX is sensitive enough to be used for explosive trace detection.  It detects bulk explosives too.

Additional information

Weight N/A

Chemicals Detected

  • Nitroaromatics including TNT, DNT, Tetryl
  • Nitramines & Nitrate Esters including RDX, HMX, PETN, EGDN & NG
  • Inorganics Nitrates such as urea nitrate, ammonium nitrate & black powder
  • Chlorates & Bromates – potassium chlorate, potassium bromate
  • Peroxides – TATP & HMTD
  • Acids – nitric acid, sulfuric acid, citric acid
  • Bases – potassium hydroxide & sodium hydroxide


TraceX Wipes Pens
# of Explosive Families Detected in 1 Test Cycle 9 1-41 1-31
Trace Detection Yes Yes Yes & No1
Bulk Detection Yes Yes Yes
Ease of Use Single swab & crush Multiple swab & crush cycles, until a positive indication occurs Multiple swab & crush cycles, until a positive indication occurs
Interpretation of Results Results clearly indicated User interprets results based on color formed after serial analyses User interprets patterns from multiple pens
User Safety All chemicals contained inside plastic case Possible user exposure to chemicals Possible user exposure to chemicals
Potential for Sample Contamination Low3 High3 Medium3
Ruggedness Each kit encased in protective plastic case Fragile ampules are
minimally protected
Fragile ampules have limited protection provided by pen casing
Heat Source Required No Yes and No1 No
Time for Results ≤ 3 minutes total 2-12 minutes2 2-12 minutes2

1 Depends on specific product

2 Each test can takes about 2 minutes; total time depends on number of tests run in series

3 For TraceX Explosive Kit, sampling site is protected by cover and user swabs with handle. For Wipes, user touches sampling site when swabbing, in some kits, reuse of dropper may introduce contamination. For Pens, user must avoid touching of pen.


Operating Temperature 2°C to 50°C
Operating Humidity 10% to 95% RH
Sensitivity Trace level, can also detect bulk levels
Time for Color Change Less than 3 minutes
Kit Size 5 ¼” x 3 ¾” x ¾”
Shelf Life 12 months*

*Store at room temperature. Short term excursions up to 50°C are acceptable


Morphix TraceX Explosive Detector Kit Literature

TraceX Operating Instructions

TraceX User Guide

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