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Questions tagged [explosives]

Questions discussing explosive nature of chemicals. Also, consider using the safety tag.

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Is it possible to create weaker version of guncotton by replacing cotton wool with wood chips or linen cloth?

If the cotton wool was replaced by wood chips or linen (flax) cloth, would the mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids still react with the cellulose in it to produce nitrocellulose? If it would, would ...
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1answer
63 views

How do explosions relate to kinetics? [closed]

I'm aware that for an explosion to happen, the detonation reaction must be incredibly fast. How does this tie into its reaction mechanism/rate expression?--why, in terms of kinetics, does the ...
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1answer
69 views

Why is nitroglycerin so unstable?

I know that nitroglycerin is an incredibly powerful explosive due to its three nitro groups, but why is it so unstable? What in its chemical structure makes it so sensitive to shock and temperature? ...
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1answer
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What am I doing wrong with the fuel and packing I am using for a cannon I made?

Recently I have been using flash powder in a cannon that I made, for a chemistry project, however, it is not causing the rubber ball I put in it to propel out of the tube. First I put in 30g of flash ...
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2answers
168 views

Why do most explosives have symmetrical chemical structures?

I was just turning the pages of my chemistry dictionary, when I found the structure of TNT (Trinitrotoluene): ...there after I got interested in its symmetry as an explosive, and started looking for ...
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Would an explosion of an electrically charged material be more powerful than if it were not charged?

I was recently reading a book titled "Hitler's Suppressed and Still Secret Weapons, Science and Technology". I came across this book because I saw it referenced by someone on another site. The book's ...
6
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1answer
462 views

What chemical explosives detonate when exposed to alpha particles or nuclear fission products?

Wikipedia's article on nitrogen triiodide $\ce{NI3}$ claims that Nitrogen triiodide is also notable for being the only known chemical explosive that detonates when exposed to alpha particles and ...
3
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1answer
82 views

Was nitroglycerin invented as an explosive?

Although I have researched this as carefully as the web allows, it is not clear to me if the inventor was planning to make an explosive and if so, why he thought the process he undertook would yield ...
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252 views

Why is gunpowder urinated on in Blood Meridian?

An interesting section of Blood Meridian (1985) by Cormac McCarthy has the gang of "Indian fighters" surrounded and out of powder, so one of them manages to make it from scratch, making charcoal from ...
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1answer
56 views

Odorless smoke from 1812 Overture cannon fire

I went to an outdoor performance of the 1812 Overture last night. At the finale, a sequence of 'cannon fire' occurred. In past years the smoke has had the expected sulfur odor but this year the dense ...
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109 views

Why was rhenium used as an igniter in flash bulbs?

It looks like it typically had a current passed though it to ignite zirconium threads. What properties of rhenium made it the best metal to use for this?
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Are all highly shock sensitive chemicals highly temperature sensitive too?

I found that some highly shock sensitive explosives like lead azide, mercury fulminate have a relatively high auto-ignition temperature. I want to know if it's a general property or not and why so? ...
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348 views

why Nitrocellulose does not explode [closed]

my question is simple why Nitrocellulose does not explode since it contains Nitrogen and oxygen in the structure of the cotton why it does burn ?
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94 views

What explosive compound would be the most likely first explosive developed by a race? [closed]

Elaboration on title: What would most likely be the first explosive compound that some individual would create if they were just mixing together random things they had available? I'm not talking about ...
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26 views

Cold Gas Inflation

What and how is cold gas inflation used as replacement for traditional gas ingredients in airbag deployment? Can we make our own version of cold gas inflation?
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1answer
225 views

What did actually happen when Staudinger tried to synthesise diamond?

It is a famous reaction that used to be a teaching lab experiment, but is now banned in Germany, because it is too dangerous. To quote-translate quite liberally from the German www.seilnacht.com: ...
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1answer
129 views

Can cis and trans isomers have widely different flash points?

Sigma seems to have two products listed for sale as "Cinnamic Aldehyde". One compound clearly seems the trans isomer but the other one seems like an unspecified mixture. (They even have two different ...
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2answers
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Pyrotechnic “star” without oxidizer

In the design of a celebratory pyrotechnic (firework), there exists a gunpowder explosive charge at the center of the firework and pyrotechnic "stars" lining the circumference of the explosive. The "...
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2answers
3k views

Why doesn't liquid propane in a closed coke bottle burst?

I was watching this YouTube video in which the original experiment was to make a small rocket out of liquid propane and Coke. When that failed, the person doing the experiment decided to try pouring ...
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1answer
4k views

What causes KNO3 to decompose into KNO2 and Oxygen in gunpowder?

I've been studying fireworks and from what I understand: $\ce{KNO3}$ decomposes to form $\ce{KNO2}$ and $\ce{O2}$ gas, and this free oxygen reacts with carbon to react with carbon and sulfur to form ...
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0answers
334 views

Aluminum powder reaction with air

I have made aluminum powder in a ball mill a few times, but my last batch began to smoke and caught fire soon after I poured it from the tumbler. Nothing unusual was afoot. It was poured into a paper ...
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3answers
1k views

Preventing build-up of Diethyl Ether Peroxides

I've never stored Diethyl Ether before but am thinking of producing minor amounts myself and storing said Ether inside of glass/PTFE bottles. I am aware of possible pressure build-up due to vapors ...
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2answers
425 views

Serious introduction to the chemistry of explosives recommendation

I'm looking for a serious introduction to the chemistry (and perhaps to a lesser extend the physics) of explosives. Presupposition of basic university courses in Organic Chemistry and Thermodynamics ...
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1answer
1k views

Can a table salt + vinegar mixture be explosive?

I remember having read in a book, Ask Me Anything (Dorling Kindersley), that a combination of copious amounts of table salt and vinegar is explosive. Now this was a really long while back, and I can'...
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2answers
482 views

Why is there such a violent reaction when NaCl is formed?

In school I saw how $\ce{NaCl}$ was formed and I noticed that there was a violent reaction. Can someone tell me why there is such a violent reaction? The $\ce{NaCl}$ was formed by reacting sodium ...
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1answer
112 views

What is the compound I made from KNO3 and table sugar which subsequently exploded when I exposed it to a flame?

I mixed 75% $\ce{KNO3}$ and 25% $\ce{C12H22O11}$ (by volume) in boiling water to make slow burn fuses. Some of the product became a thick brown paste. After drying, a hard cake of an approximate 1 ...
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1answer
55 views

Would a loaded cartridge ignite/explode when hit from the side or front by a bullet?

This question https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/193472/93888 explains what would happen after a cartridge is ignited: the bullet gets propelled by the gases in one direction and the cartridge (with ...
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3answers
216 views

Constructing a grenade (for a novel I'm writing.)

Ok, before any eyebrows get raised, this is for a novel that I'm writing and inspired by this answer from worldbuilding and this reference answer. I just want to make sure the device I'm trying to use ...
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3answers
653 views

How is combustion speed regulated in solid propellants?

My question on Space.SE didn't yield anything I didn't know already: the secondary regulation mechanism – grain (cross-section shape) of the propellant, changing the area of open surface of the ...
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3answers
8k views

Why exactly does molten NaCl explode, when it is poured into water?

Why does molten $\ce{NaCl}$ explode, when it is poured into water? $\ce{NaCl}$ has a high melting point, $1074\ \mathrm{K}$ ($801~\mathrm{^\circ C}$). $\ce{NaCl}$ has a molar mass of $58.44\ \mathrm{...
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1answer
113 views

Why there is an Upper Explosive concentration Limit?

If we have a mixture of combustible gas (let's say it's methane) and air, what is the physical explanation for having a upper concentration limit? I found this document: Lower and upper explosive ...
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1answer
2k views

Ammonia Reaction with O2

I asked a similar question earlier that lead me to ask this question. NH3 and O2 react in the following way $$\ce{4NH3 + 3O2 -> 2N2 + 6H2O}$$ From my understanding Ammonia will explode(react ...
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791 views

Can dry ice explode?

Can dry ice be used as a explosive chemical? I am intrigued by this chemical dry ice and seen various experiments with it, and seems to have potential to be a explosive. So can dry ice explode?
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1answer
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What's the composition of gun smoke and is it dangerous?

Background I've been conducting an informal (i.e. mental) risk assessment of visiting gun ranges. There are a couple of obvious sources of hazard: Injury by bullet Hearing loss Hot casings flying ...
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1answer
124 views

What chemicals used everyday will cause an explosive reaction if exposed into outer space? [closed]

What chemicals used everyday will cause an explosive reaction if exposed into outer space?
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1answer
258 views

Why does microwaving napalm make it nonflammable?

In this video, microwaving napalm made it nonflammable. What caused this to happen? I assume its some sort of chemical reaction, could someone explain? I understand some chemistry, but a not-too-...
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1answer
691 views

Is Tollen's test safe?

Tollen's test is an important test to distinguish between aldehyde and ketone. $$\ce{2 [Ag(NH3)2]+ + RCHO + H2O → 2 Ag(s) + 4 NH3 + RCO2H + 2 H+}$$ But is this reaction safe? Is there any threat in ...
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1answer
1k views

Does sodium cyanide react with water, and can it cause an explosion?

According to some conspiracy theory, the explosion that happened last year in Tianjin (China) wasn't caused by sodium cyanide. Can sodium cyanide react with water, and can it cause an explosion if you ...
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1answer
346 views

Reaction of Hydrogen and Dinitrogen Tetroxide?

What might be the possible products of a reaction between hydrogen and dinitrogen tetroxide ($\ce{N2O4}$)? They are fuel and oxidizer respectively in rockets.
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At which temperature does carbon monoxide explode? [duplicate]

I had doubt whether carbon monoxide explodes or not. I checked out this resource and found out that carbon monoxide explodes when heated. But they didn't mention the temperature at which it explodes. ...
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1answer
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Are non-exothermic explosions possible?

Explosives like picric acid and trinitrotoluene are unstable due to the close packing of so many $\ce{-NO2}$ groups onto a benzene ring. These highly strained bonds require only a relatively small ...
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2answers
359 views

mechanism of mechanically triggered explosion [duplicate]

There are several well known explosives which can be mechanically triggered. I am curious about the mechanism of such a reaction, though. I guess one can give an easy answer when the explosive is ...
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1answer
1k views

Can rocket candy explode during the preparation?

I would like to follow the steps in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyPysthIRss After I mixed the Potassium nitrate KNO3 and the ...
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2answers
559 views

Contact explosion of nitrogen triiodide

Nitrogen triiodide, on slightest physical contact, explodes to evolve dense purple fumes of iodine. Why does this phenomenon occur? video link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KlAf936E90
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2answers
411 views

Mechanism of initiation in contact explosives?

It's well known that undiluted nitroglycerin will explode when subjected to a physical shock. What is happening as a result of the physical shock that sets off the explosive reaction? In particular, ...
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122 views

Methylation of perchlorate

I am exploring (non-experimentally!) the methylation of a perchlorate precursor, either the acid or pre-existing salts, to produce the alkali methyl perchlorate. The methylating agent would be methane ...
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1answer
744 views

Perchlorate salts: (explosive) reactivity with methane?

I read everywhere about the explosive reactivity of perchlorate salts (e.g., $\ce{Na}$, $\ce{Ca}$, $\ce{NH4}$ [especially]) when mixed with organic materials or solvents, yet I find no information ...
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Oxygen-based explosives

I know that oxidanes are oxygen chains and rings. For example trioxidane is $\ce{HO-O-OH}$. I can see this turning into $\ce{O2}$ and $\ce{H2O}$ like hydrogen peroxide does. Since the double bonds in $...
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Mixing solvents and other compounds - safety issues

I would like to know if it is safe to mix organic solvents together or organic solvents with some compounds listed below. In a mixture with random ratios (greater than zero - all chemicals present) ...
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1answer
5k views

Why is picric acid more explosive than TNT?

I've recently read that trinitrophenol (picric acid - relative effectiveness factor $1.20$) is more explosive than trinitrotoluene (TNT - relative effectiveness factor $1.00$). Personally, I think ...