Hexamine is used as a component with 1,3,5-trioxane in hexamine fuel tablets (often called Esbit). This solid fuel in tablet form is used by campers, hobbyists, the military and relief organizations for heating camping food or military rations. It burns smokelessly, has a high energy density, does not liquify while burning and leaves no ashes.
Hexamine is a heterocyclic organic compound that can be prepared by the reaction of
formaldehyde and ammonia. It is crystalline and white in appearance. Particle size ranges from 80-800 micrometres. It is moderately soluble in water and very
soluble in most organic solvents. It has a cage-like structure similar to adamantane.
It has two very different types of uses: as an antibiotic (commonly the hippurate salt, methenamine hippurate), and as a solid fuel tablet used for cooking while camping or hiking. The name methenamine is more common in its medicinal uses and hexamine is more common in commercial uses.
Another important area for use of hexamine is in the production of powdery or liquid preparations of phenolic resins and phenolic resin moulding compounds, where hexamine is added as a hardening component. These products are used as binders, e.g. in brake and clutch linings, abrasive products, non-woven textiles, formed parts produced by moulding processes, and fireproof materials.