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Questions tagged [explosives]

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

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68 views

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
55 views

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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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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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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63 views

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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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
151 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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43 views

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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3answers
258 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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780 views

What really happens atomically in an explosion?

Let's say a room is filled with butane, I then throw a cigarette into the room. What happens to the atoms/molecules of the butane when they are in contact with the heat from the cigarette?
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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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How explosive is hydrogen gas?

I want to electrolyze water to get oxygen and hydrogen. I want to mix them in a regular balloon and ignite it. How much hydrogen would you need in a 2:1 ratio with air for it to be dangerous? Is this ...
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90 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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471 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 ...
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2answers
159 views

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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395 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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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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1answer
58 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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1answer
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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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What chemical elements does a nuclear explosion release into its mushroom cloud?

I'm interested in the mushroom cloud produced by a nuclear explosion: What is it made of? I know that the uranium fission reaction is the following (from this web page) $$\ce{{}^{235}U + {}^1_0n -&...
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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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4k views

What makes substances explosive

Can someone explain clearly to me why some things are explosive?
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1k views

Why is temperature regulation an important factor for producing explosives?

I was wondering why temperature regulation is an important factor for producing explosives. I know many are exothermic reactions but what would happen if you did not use an ice bath and allow the ...
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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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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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1answer
5k 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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1answer
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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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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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9k 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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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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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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1answer
243 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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27 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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212 views

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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1answer
4k views

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
1k views

Why can sulfur act like a catalyst?

In the reaction of combustion of gunpowder, Sulfur is used to speed up the reaction and acts like a catalyst in that it increases the rate of reaction. However, unlike a catalyst, it is used up in ...
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2answers
574 views

What happens when an explosion can't lead to volume increase of the thermodynamic system?

What if an explosion is not able to exit the container? Take a pipe bomb for example; assuming that the pipe bomb was hypothetically made out of such a strong material that the explosion is not able ...
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151 views

What is involved in this firey demonstration?

In this rather shaky Facebook video (sorry I can't provide a better link), a science teacher takes a burning beaker of something and spills it out onto the floor. It then proceeds to shoot fire out ...
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0answers
365 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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372 views

Products of HMTD decomposition

Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, "Hex" for short, is an explosive organic compound. I want to know the products of this reaction: $$\ce{C_6H_{12}N_2O_6 -> ? + Energy}$$
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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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796 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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536 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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434 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
124 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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697 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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1answer
5k views

Why do we need acid when making acetone peroxide?

Acetone peroxide is a very dangerous explosive, easily detonated by mild heating, friction or shock. It appears in the form of small white crystals. This compound forms from the mixture of hydrogen ...
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616 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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1answer
196 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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9k views

Homemade Rocket Fuel and Engine

I want to put an action figure in orbit but I need to know how to make a secure yet not too expensive rocket fuel engine. The design of the engine must very primitive and not too complicated. I've ...