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


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

The type of Amatol 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.


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 or lead(II) azide were often used as a detonator, in combination with an explosive booster charge such as tetryl.[1]


Amatol can only be purchased with a license.


  • Mining and blasting rocks apart


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]


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


  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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