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EXPLOSIVE DETECTION EQUIPMENT

Types of Explosives

Name Scientific and/or Other Name Characteristics Uses


Very sensitive to shock, friction, heat, and
flame. Made from hydrogen peroxide,
Acetone Peroxide Acetonetriperoxide acetone, and sulfuric acid.

Used as a bursting charge in aerial


Amatol Mixture of AN and TNT. bombs and artillery shells in WW II
Very stable and difficult to explode
although it can be detonated under high Fertilizer. Used as an additive in
AN Ammonium Nitrate pressure at high temperatures. many explosive mixtures.

Nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin blended


together with diphenylamine which acts
as a stabilizer. Burns with a considerable
amount of flash and smoke, and Double based powder used as a
Ballastite generates great volume of gas. rocket propellant.
A low explosive composed essentially of No longer used as a propellant or
potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate, bursting charge. Used in safety
charcoal, and sulfur. Very sensitive to fuses and muzzle loaders. Pipe
Black Powder heat, friction, or spark. bombs.
Used as a bursting charge in Navy
Wax coated, granular explosive 2.25 a 5-inch rockets and land
Composition A A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4, A-5 consisting of TDX and plasticizer wax. mines.
Used as a burster in Army
projectiles and in rockets and land
Composition B Consists of a mixture of RDX and TNT. mines.
Plastic demolition explosive consisting of
RDX, other explosives, and plasticizer.
The difference in C1 thru 4 is the It can be molded by hand for
temperature range in which they can demolition work and packed by
Composition C C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4 remain useful. hand into shape charge devices.
Contains nitroguanidine, nitrocellulose,
and nitroglycerine. Very cool burning with Used as a propellant in aircraft gun
Cordite N little smoke or flash. ammunition.
Manufactured in three formulations by Used for loading shape charge
varying mixture percentages of RDX and bombs, special fragmentation
Cyclotol TNT. projectiles, and grenades.
An insensitive high explosive that is very
DATB Diaminotrinitrobenzene similar to TATB used in modern warheads
Primary explosive sensitive to shock,
DDNP Diazodinitrophenol friction, and flame. Detonator
Name Scientific and/or Other Name Characteristics Uses
It resembles a safety fuse but it contains
high explosive (TNT) instead of black Used in both commercial and
Detonating Cord Cordeau powder. military.
Used as a bursting charge for
armor piercing shells and in other
types of projectiles that must
withstand severe shock and stress
Explosive D Ammonium Picrate Very insensitive to shock and friction. before detonating.

Fairly sensitive to friction, shock, and fire. Used in manufacturing lacquers


Comes from cotton and wood. Employed and gunpowder's. Also used in
extensively fin the manufacture os single electric primers and electrically
Guncotton Nitrocellulose based propellants. initiated detonators.
A binary explosives that is a castable
mixture of RDX, TNT, powdered
aluminum, and D-2 wax with calcium Used as a standard bursting
H-6 chloride. charge for general purpose bombs.
HBX-1 and HBX-3 are binary explosives
that are castable mixtures of RDX, TNT,
powdered aluminum, and D-2 wax with Used in missile warheads and
HBX High Blast Explosion calcium chloride. underwater ordnance.
Very sensitive to friction, shock, heat, and
flame. Made from
hexamethylenetetramine, hydrogen
HMTD Hexamethylenetriperoxidediamine peroxide, and citric acid. Used as a blasting cap.
High explosive that is sensitive to high
High Melting Explosive, Octogen, temperatures. Made up of hexamine, AN, Mixed with TNT in high blast
HMX Cyclotetramethylene-tetranitramine nitric acid, and acetic acid. explosives.
A primary explosive that has a high Adopted as adetenator of major
temperature of ignition but it is less caliber, point, and auxiliary
brisant and less sensitive to shock and detonating fuses. Used in primary
Lead Azide friction than mercury fulminate. mixtures.
Primary explosive that is sensitive to fire
and static electricity. Less sensitive to
shock and friction than mercury fulminate Used as a component in primer
Lead Styphnate and lead azide. Stable. and detonator mixtures.
A primary explosive that is very sensitive Detonators and priming
Mercury Fulminate to friction, heat, flame and shock. compositions
A binary explosive that is castible mixture
of TNT, ammonium nitrate, and powdered Used as a bursting charge where
Minol 2 aluminum. TNT is in short supply.
High explosive that is very insensitive.
MMAN Monomethylamine Nitrate Similar to TNT.
Name Scientific and/or Other Name Characteristics Uses

Nitro-glycerin Very sensitive to friction, heat, and shock. Used to make dynamite.
Insensitive to high temperatures, shock,
and impact. Similar to TNT and picric Propellant and bursting charge
Nitro-guanidine acid. ingredient.
Primarily used in booster and
bursting charges in small caliber
ammo. Military explosive used in
grenades and projectiles. Used as
Highly explosive organic compound a detonator and in Primacord.
belonging to the same chemical family as Also used in medicine as a heart
PETN Pentraerythritol Tetranitrate nitroglycerine stimulant.
Close relative to TNT. Very explosive used as a yellow dye, antiseptic,
Picric Acid Trinitrophenol when dry. and insecticide.
Same as Det Cord but the core is filled Used in both commercial and
Primacord with PETN. military.
Flexible, waterproof explosive made of
PETN and a rubber-like material. Formed
into sheets which can be cut into any size
Primasheet Detasheet and shape.
Very stable and is considered the most Used in other explosives. Forms
Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine, powerful and brisant of the military high the base for Composition A, B, and
RDX cyclonite, hexogen explosives. Rarely used alone. C; HBX; H-6; and Cyclotol.
Plastic explosive that is extremely stable. Used in commercial blasting and
Needs a blasting cap or det cord to set serves as a primary explosive in
off. Composed of RDX and PETN. military rockets and missiles.
Semtex Difficult to detect. Favored by terrorists.
Used almost exclusively as the
propellant for gun and rocket
ammunition. Some of the most
frequently used types is
Guncotton, Ballistite, and Cordite
Smokeless Powder Very sensitive to heat, friction, or spark. N. Pipe Bombs.
Primary explosive that's sensitive to high
TACC Tetraminecopper Chlorate temperatures, friction, and shock
High explosive that is insensitive to high
TATB Triaminotrinitrobenzene temperature's, shock, and impact. used in modern nuclear warheads
A high explosive made of acetone,
peroxide, and one other readily available The most common explosive used
TATP Triacetonetriperoxide ingredient. by terrorists in the Middle East.
TENN Tetranitronapthalene Similar to TNT.
Primary explosive that explodes readily to Used in combination of other
flame producing large amounts of black explosives. Used in detonators
Tetracene smoke. and priming compositions.
Name Scientific and/or Other Name Characteristics Uses
Can be initiated from flame, friction,
Tetryl Trinitrophenylmethylnitramine shock, or sparks. It burns readily. Standard booster explosive.
Used in burster tubes for chemical
bombs, in demolition blocks, and
Tetrytol A cast mixture of tetryl and TNT cast shape charges.
Used in other explosives such as
RDX, PETN, Amatol, and EDNA.
Very stable high explosive. Insensitive to Can be used as a booster or as a
shock and impact. Standard with which bursting charge for high explosive
TNT Trinitrotoluene all other explosives are measured. shells and bombs.
More powerful and more sensitive to
Tritonal shock than TNT. Bombs