Questions tagged [explosives]

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

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What role does ammonium play in the explosion of ammonium nitrate? [duplicate]

I read that ammonium is the "fuel" and nitrate is the "oxidizer". The nitrate oxidizes because it's a nitro group, but what's the mechanism of the ammonium?
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12 votes
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Constraints on pyrotechnic explosives that won't detonate spontaneously at 500 °C when landing on Venus?

The Space Exploration SE question Premature detonation of explosive bolts when landing on hot Venus? explains the need for and widespread use of pyrotechnic fasteners and cable cutters for Mars ...
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Is this ancient explosive mixture mentioned in the Apocrypha plausible?

I understand that religious discussion is not wanted here, but it's just the pretext to my question. I recently decided to read the Apocrypha. Sounded interesting. Anyway, when I got to The Book of ...
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What determines the consistency of hydrogen foam when reacting aluminium with sodium hydroxide solution?

I was using $\ce{NaOH}$ solution to remove hardened grease from my stove burners, and it began to generate a lot of bubbles, some of which merged into a big bubble and erupted into the surface, but ...
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Why does Red Phosphorus react so violently with an oxidizer like Potassium Chlorate?

In Armstrong's Mixture, mixing those two chemicals results in a friction sensitive explosive which produces a loud bang. According to wikipedia, it is made by adding a strong oxidizer to red ...
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Do high-energy chemical bonds indicate strong chemical bonds?

In my head it seems reasonable that a high-energy bond would indicate that the bond is strong, however a question got me thinking. Take for example lead azide, a very explosive compound that is often ...
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Could you use All-Purpose Flour as a model rocket fuel?

I'm building a model rocket, and I'm trying to find a good fuel. I've done a lot of research and I know about r-candy and the aluminum-ammonium fuel, but I was wondering, before I made any of these, ...
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2 votes
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Can you make R-Candy without heating the propellant mix?

I'm wondering if there's any way you can make "Rocket Candy" (or R-candy) fuel without cooking it. I'm building a model rocket that I'm hoping will get about 3 km on my first build (It's not ...
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Salting out worsens extraction efficiency

I'm currently writing a thesis about using dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction DLLME for extracting nitramines from aqueous solutions. We've been using octan-1-ol as the extractant and HPLC for ...
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Are tetra- and pentanitrotoluene better explosives than TNT?

When reading about TNT (trinitrotoluene), I noticed that the aromatic ring has still 2 carbon atoms left for two more possible nitro groups ($\ce{−NO2}$), which would get you tetra- or ...
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Realistic conditions for fuel container explosion [closed]

First off, I'm not actually trying to blow anything up. Also, my apologies if this isn't the right SE to ask. If so, I'd appreciate it if you could point me to the right SE. I'm writing something ...
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How explosive is benzene compared to TNT?

Benzene is explosive within the explosive limits of minimum $\pu{1.2 \%}$ and maximum of $\pu{7.8 \%}$ in air. Source: Wikipedia More accurate, benzene itself is not explosive, but the fuel-air mixer ...
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Does mercury(II) cyanate exist?

Recently, I have answered a question "Comparing explosive properties of mercury(II) cyanate and mercury(II) fulminate" where stability of cyanate vs fulminate was discussed. While I was ...
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How does ammonium nitrate explode on its own?

I thought ammonium nitrate was an oxidizer that needed to be mixed with fuel to form a high explosive (e.g., ANFO). But apparently there have been accidental explosions involving just the "...
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Comparing explosive properties of mercury(II) cyanate and mercury(II) fulminate

I found this question online on Jiskha Homework Help: Of the compounds mercury(II) cyanate, $\ce{Hg(OCN)2},$ and mercury(II) fulminate, $\ce{Hg(CNO)2},$ one is highly explosive, the other is not. ...
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316 stainless steel and high concentration, high temperature Hydrogen Peroxide

I'm looking at doing some experiments with small scale rocketry and I need to find the right materials for this project, where I will be burning through lots of HTC (peroxide above 90% concentration). ...
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Are petroleum-based products prone to produce hard residues with black powder?

A common controversy about black powder is lubricant composition. Some people tell this is a bad idea to use any petroleum based products in such lube because it will produce hard, difficult to clean ...
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What is "salpotricon"? [closed]

I read in my old Polish history handbook about the black powder recipe that was taken from some medieval manuscript, if I remember correctly. One of the ingredients was called “salpotricon”, but years ...
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How to get the strongest reaction out of 1kg of guncotton in a space of 15*15*15 meters without using an additional gas source

It would be burnt outside at about 2 degrees Celsius with about 75 percent air humidity, 1400 meters above sea level. Even though that's not exactly true, I'll treat it like pure guncotton. I'm asking ...
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1 answer
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Does the explosion of TNT include oxidation?

This comment below the question Rocket explosion compared to kT of TNT; has one ever knocked something over at a distance? suggests that ...TNT includes it's own oxidizer... Explosion isn't the ...
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What causes oxygen cylinders to explode when in contact with oil (oiled cloth)?

Perhaps I did not put it correctly, but from the welders I know that if you leave the oiled rag on the cylinder valve, it can explode. At least, I saw how greasy oily rags that just lay in the trash ...
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Can we tell if a compound is explosive by just looking at its chemical structure?

If I showed you a compound's chemical structure will you be able to tell if it can be used as an explosive or we can only know that by conducting chemical experiments?
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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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3 votes
1 answer
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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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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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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 ...
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6 votes
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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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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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1 answer
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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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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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4 votes
2 answers
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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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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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2 votes
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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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2 votes
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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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19 votes
1 answer
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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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10 votes
1 answer
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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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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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12 votes
2 answers
4k 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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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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3 votes
1 answer
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Aluminum powder reaction with air

I've made aluminum powder in a ball mill a few times, but my last batch began to smoke and caught on fire soon after I poured it from the tumbler. Nothing unusual was afoot. It was poured into a paper ...
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8 votes
3 answers
2k 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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14 votes
2 answers
466 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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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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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0 votes
1 answer
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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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2 votes
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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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8 votes
3 answers
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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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8 votes
3 answers
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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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