Amatol

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Amatol is a highly explosive material made from a mixture of TNT and ammonium nitrate.

Composition

Amatol consists of 40-50% ammonium nitrate and 50-60% TNT, though the percentage may vary depending on the recipe.

The type of Ammatol with the composition 20/80 TNT/NH4NO3 is more commonly called Ammonite.

A derivative of amatol is amatex, consisting of 51% ammonium nitrate, 40% TNT and 9% RDX.

Properties

Amatol is a off-white to slightly yellow solid, hygroscopic. It has an average density of 1.5 g/cm3, a detonation velocity of 6,290 m/s and a R.E. factor of 0.91.

When available in pressed form, amatol is relatively insensitive, but may be detonated by severe impact, whereas when cast, it is extremely insensitive. Primary explosives such as mercury(II) fulminate were often used as a detonator, in combination with an explosive booster charge such as tetryl.[1]

Availability

Amatol can only be purchased with a license.

Projects

  • Mining and blasting rocks apart

Safety

Handling and storage

Amatol should not be stored in containers made from copper or brass, as it can form unstable compounds sensitive to shock and friction.[2]

Disposal

Safely detonating it in a special or remote area. As it does not explode when burned, it can also be neutralized via controlled incineration.

See also

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amatol
  2. Davis, Tenney L. (1943) The Chemistry of Powder & Explosives Angriff Press ISBN 0-913022-00-4 pp.141-153&494

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