Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Peroxide Watergel

Axt - 10-1-2005 at 14:15

The science of commercial watergel explosives is an art unto itself, where a balance of fuels (eg. Aluminum/oils), oxidisers (typically AN), binders and crosslinking agents are combined within just the right ratio's, combined with gas producing components to give the microscopic gas bubbles necessary for sensitisation. One component that can be used for this is hydrogen peroxide.

Heres an experiment to see if the H2O2 is capable of the role of oxidiser as well as sensitiser. Theoretically the H2O2 will slowly decompose in contact with aluminium providing the vital gas voids by enveloping the Al grains in an oxygen bubble. The Aluminium providing the source of fuel, and combined with a binder to hold it together.

Watergel's are workable, at least partly due to aluminium's ability to draw its oxygen from water: 2 Al + 3 H2O -> Al2O3 + 3 H2 + 226 kcal/mol Al2O3

So the formulation with 50% H2O2 was calculated to be 50:50 peroxide to Aluminium by weight (this ratio is the same for 30% etc. as well!), this is balanced to H2 and Al2O3 products. The final formulation used was 50% of 50% peroxide, 48% 200 mesh aluminium and 2% guar gum to bind the explosive into a soft mouldable putty. The explosive is a stable putty for about 6 hours, although it expands somewhat. After this time it turns to liquid. So it is a "mix on site" explosive.

H2O2 was hydroponic nutrient, aluminium was resin filler and guar gum was bought as a food ingredient (for what I dont know!).

The components were mixed, left for two hours, then fired with 0.5g PETN, six consecutive frames from this blast are shown below.

<center><img src="">
<a href="">MOVIE</a></center>

The 100g charge detonated with a gutsy BOOM, bright flash and considerable air movement. Its a nice "spectator explosive" :cool:

Further experiments could be done to deterimine the concentration of peroxide it will work over, the mesh size and its time window where it is usable after mixing. The blast shown is the only time I have tried it, but it seems to be an easy, expedient explosive that most will have access to.

Magnesium can't be used, it decomposes H2O2 too fast, acting more like an expanding foam, which could be dangerous due to the heat release.

[Edited on 9-12-2005 by Axt]

chemoleo - 10-1-2005 at 15:15

Axt and his nice exotic EM's - what would we do without him/them? :o:cool:

Anyway - you say explosive - what was the effect on the surrounding material?
Presumably it's a low-order explosive... ?

Oh, and by the way, I am sure you heard of the ability of agarose forming gels.
A 1% gel is quite solid, and a 2 % hard to press between your fingers.
There are several kinds, the one used in molecular biology is mostly the kind that melts at 70 deg C, but there are some that have a MP of 28-40 deg C.
Maybe you could use that as a binder/gelfactant?

Axt - 10-1-2005 at 16:27

Yeh, OK. I know it <i>looks</i> like I burnt a handfull of blackpowder, but this is definately a HE! The second frame is the flash on detonation blinding the camera, where the rest are the excess H2 released burning up. It was confined in a thin flexible plastic container, with a "pop on" lid, so confinement wasn't siginificant. Download the movie and it will all be clear :)

There was nothing in its vacinity to get a good idea on "power", but the ground was turned up, and grass flattened.

Nope, I'd never heard of agarose forming gels. I look into it once I get some sleep. Gelatine may be a more readily available binder, though im not sure what crosslinker will hold it together without decomposing H2O2.

[Edited on 11-1-2005 by Axt]

chemoleo - 10-1-2005 at 16:55

Hmm, but the brightness of a flash is not a measure of its ability to detonate? Can't download the movies, because of 'data transfer rate exceeded'.
The reason why I am asking/wondering is because it reminds me much of other Al-based low explosives. They all give a bright explosion, and a loud report. But these aren't high VoD explosives right.

Gelatine is another option, but its gels arent as solid as those of agarose, and again it needs high temp for dissolution. I haven't tried it, but maybe its not such a good idea to dissolve gelatine in boiling 30% H2O2? But then, if there is no problem with it, why not :) In taht case, you could use high melt agarose, its gels are stable for several days, they just dry. Another option are polyacrylamide gels - which is probably the best one. But with H2O2 - I imagine polymerisation is about instantaneous.

Axt - 10-1-2005 at 17:23

I'm not claiming a high VOD explosive, just that its a true detonation. I expect that you could safely chuck this stuff into an incinerator without explosion.

Guar gum is the best anyway, pre-mixed with Al powder, once your at the blast site, just pour the required H2O2 over it and knead it in with gloved hands, simple!

Just curious...

Mickhael - 11-1-2005 at 12:22

I was talking with a friend of mine who runs a local blasting company, and he was saying his "Amex" (AN) would VoD between 8,000 and 12, 4" holes and the gel type he uses will go up to 15,000 VoD. However he said the AN has better breaking power and he prefers it (cheaper price to obviously), even though the other has a higher my question is, why would the AN have better breaking power with a lower VoD? I don't get it...and secondly have you any idea what the general VoD would be for your gel mix? I'm enterested in other uses for H2O2...seems such a versitile chemical...sheesh. Although limited in some respects...

Axt - 12-1-2005 at 02:31

Dunno, depends on the definition of "breaking power" and how well it's been interpreted into here. Emulsions typically have considerably greater bulk strength then that of ANFO.

I've been searching PATR for info on the explosive interaction of water/Aluminium, heres one entry that most closely resembles the topic of this thread.

<center><img src=""></center>

I expect the peroxide containing explosive to be equal or greater in explosive effect to these. Someone may like to try detonating Mg/water, Mg/MeOH or Al/water alone. But I expect you would need very fine mesh sized metal, and a decent booster.

More relevant quotes relating to Al or water or peroxide containing explosives:


H202/H2O/EtOH detonation rates could be as high as 6700m/s.

A 90.7% (H2O2/water) soln detonates at 5500 to 6000 m/sec even at 0.5 inch ID and 25.

A further advantage of the addition of Al lies in the fact that Al2O3 formed during the reaction does not remain as a solid but vaporizes, thus increasing the overall volume of gases and the pressure. These increases are due to the fact that the bp of A1203 is only 2980° while the temp developed on expln of HE’s is usually above 4500°.

They were also found very effective in Aerial bombs (because their radius of blast damage was greater than with nonaluminized expls). The large amts of heat liberated by these reactions maintain a high pressure of expln for a longer period of time than would be obtained without Al.

They found that Al powder mixed with a stoichiometc amount of liq oxygen to form Al203 is a very powerful expl, giving 3.85 times the arnt energy of an equal wt of TNT.

Water content influences Slurry strength. Dupont Trade Literature claims that each % of w removed increases strength by about as much as the addition of 1% of Al. Cook (Ref 9, p 215) also shows that increase in w content reduces strength. However, according to Cook, this effect disappears in highly aluminized Slurries.

According to an investigation by Medard (Ref 3), mixts of Mg + H20, Mg + MeOH or 2Al + 3H20 are comparable in their power to guncotton but they are not able to propagate the deton unless a small quantity of a sensitizer (such as 7%+ of PETN) is incorporated.

A mixture was prepd by treating cellulose with 83.4% H202 to form a gelatinous mass. This mixt is more powerful than TNT or Tetranitroaniline.

[Edited on 9-12-2005 by Axt]

Axt - 12-1-2005 at 07:11

Doubling the amount of guar gum to 4% results in a more plastic mix, and holds together for longer. Can't confirm that it will detonate presume that it will. 48:48:4 ratio is seen in the pics below.

<center><img src="">
Moulded around a 4mm rod, it let go after 45min.</center>

<center><img src="">
After 6 hours it still holds its shape, though it does "droop" if left stand.</center>

[Edited on 9-12-2005 by Axt]

Resin Filler

AngelEyes - 12-1-2005 at 09:59

for your source of Aluminium?

Wow - I bought some resin filler Al and found it to be remarkably unreactive. It was very grey in colour and of a mesh similar to icing sugar - maybe a <i>tiny</i> bit coarser. But when mixed with KClO<sub>3</sub> or NaNO<sub>3</sub> in the correct proprtions I got little more than the odd spark. So I figured it was either that the particle size was too big or that it was coated with something. Do you treat yours in anyway before using it? Or maybe it just needs a good kick (blasting cap) or siginificant confinement and heat to get it going. Or maybe I simply didn't mix it well enough...

chemoleo - 12-1-2005 at 10:25

No, a KNO3 'fuse' (paper soaked in KNO3) was also not enough in my case to set off NaClO3/Al - 200 mesh, also for resin filler. You need more heat to start it off. A small amount of NaClO3/sugar sufficed, it then burns with a supremely white flash.

Anyway, BACK to topic please!
Axt, I expect you will be trying this with H2O2/MeOH/Al?
The more I think about it, the more I like it - as the H2 produced also burns in the air, so it is somewhat an FAE!.

Axt - 12-1-2005 at 13:24

I'm not sure if adding methanol will be useful, since to add MeOH, you decrease the concentration of peroxide which I now know to be vital, as I just tried to detonate 25% peroxide in the 48:48:4 ratio, but it failed. I've also previously tried to fuel 50% peroxide with ethanol but to no effect. I like the idea of using plain ol' peroxide/Aluminium to create an HE. I dont have methanol, but im sure others will be able to try this.

Anyway, the bit of gel in the photo above, near the matchbox was just fired 12hrs after being mixed. Full detonation, confinement was only a couple layers of cling wrap (film you wrap food with) which I used to keep peroxide off my hands. Gelled 50% H2O2 under your fingernail is incredibly painfull :mad:

The charge was placed on 2mm steel, which was used previously for the ANNM and MEKP charges. The steel was leaned up against a stump, a branched leaned up against it, and the charge placed onto the branch so it sat up against the plate. The plan was to try and see the blast move through the grass as I wasn't expecting much effect on the plate ... I was wrong. It ripped the corner off the plate.

<center><img src=""></center>

It's explosive effect was much more then the other explosives tested on it. The charge size was 85g, which occupied about the same volume as the MEKP charges. See the MEKP thread for description of those charges, how they were setup and their effect.

Someone with 600 mesh aluminum might want to try using it with the more common 30% peroxide to see if they can get a detonation. It may also be advantageous to add a tiny amount of copper powder to the 30% peroxide mix to help catalyse its breakdown, providing the sensitising bubbles.<br><br>

[Edited on 9-12-2005 by Axt]

H2O2 percentage

chemistr1 - 12-1-2005 at 15:49

are you saying that 35% H2O2 can not be used for the slurry or does it just require tweaking.
Well done on the tests though 50% H2O2 is probably quite difficult to aquire by most of us.
Damn impressive test though and were are you getting the gum from?

Axt - 13-1-2005 at 01:00

Originally posted by chemistr1
are you saying that 35% H2O2 can not be used for the slurry or does it just require tweaking.

I'm saying 25% peroxide wont work in that ratio, when fired under no confinement with 0.5g PETN. Its also old 50% peroxide that im using, so it could be down around 40% and 20% peroxide that I tried. I don't have finer Al then 200 mesh, finer would be prefered.

The guar gum is some sort of thickener used for food. It's probably not available in supermarkets. But a google search should provide many sources since it is quite common, health food supply etc. <a href="">here</a> for example.

You could try other thickeners such as starch or gelatine, which would create more of a slop then a plastic. Effectively you just need something to hold the Al in suspension, and preserve the oxygen bubbles created.

Bert - 13-1-2005 at 15:45

I have obtained guar gum from ceramics suppliers...

HRH_Prince_Charles - 13-1-2005 at 17:00

Guar Gum is used for dieting. Mix it with water and it fills you up. No longer hungry. Get in health food shops and online.

Axt - 14-1-2005 at 07:55

I've been passed a patent # via U2U relating to H2O2 "sprengel" explosives in general, but of the examples given is Al/H2O2 While it only relates to concentrated peroxide (90%) some info may be gleamed from it. See attachment.

There is a couple things I dont like about it, example, the formulation was calculated off a standard OB formula, not taking into account Al/H2O reactions. Also no binder is used for a formulation very heavy on the liquid portion, I cant see holding any sort of consistacy throughout the mix. An idea that it presents however, and I have now confirmed true is that 1.5% added ethanol will help blend paint grade Al into the peroxide, due to its oil coating. The picture below shows the lustrous paint grade of Al powder in the mixture. The patent refers to this grade Al as being superiour to 200 mesh, and it does look cool :cool:

<center><img src=""></center>

[Edited on 9-12-2005 by Axt]

Attachment: peroxide-explosives-patent.pdf (260kB)
This file has been downloaded 2155 times

MephistosMinion - 16-1-2005 at 04:26

Hello all I bring greetings from Tasmania.

Axt I am most joyus with this explosive as all the chemicals are readily availiable ( assuming I can get guar gum) I WAS going to use the 50% H2O2 thats on its way for MEKP,HMTD and AP but I like this better, I will utalise the -325 mesh aluminium (spherical) I am getting for this.

Has anyone been able to set off the 48:48:4 mix with pressed AP or is ENT/PETN totally nessicary?

What type of aluminum?

Mickhael - 16-1-2005 at 04:58

I found this website and before I email and ask to many possibly pointed questions, can anyone suggest what type of aluminum I would want to order that has the most usefulness or that looks familier to them? I have no clue from the list what would be best...Thankyou!

Poonus hydro shop

MephistosMinion - 25-1-2005 at 04:59

No 50% H2O2 :(
They are getting it in tho yay, Also i found out that one of the larges Al powder manufactures in the world have a depot in Tasmania (Im in Tasmania :D).

So i may be abloe to work with 600 mesh Al :D:D

basicelectromechanic - 2-2-2005 at 16:31

Intrigued by Axt's experiments I've been reading the USPTO database results for search : " water gel explosive ".
What I don't understand is how the density reduction by incorporation of gas bubbles, organic microspheres or glass microspheres increases sensitivity.
Anybody care to offer some insight?

fatkangaroo - 2-2-2005 at 18:23

I just had a go a this experiment. I used 50% peroxide - my aluminium had no mesh numbers writen on the label just
Al Mol. Wt = 26.98 - I could not get guar gum locally so I used Xanthan gum. This gum should be availible everywhere it is sold by the Coeliac Society $4.00 for 100 grams, every state would be bound to have one. I believe the Xanthan gum is used in cooking for people who have allergies to glutten. The mix was more of a slop than a plastic, but it looks good and is very uniform with no lumps. Next time I will add more gum.I will just leave it be for now and see how long it takes go back to liquid. I used 50 grams peroxide 48 grams Al powder and 2 grams Xanthan gum.
Just a question about paint grade Al. I have been trying to locate it and am having some difficulties. Is paint grade Al a additive to paint or already in the paint? I cant find any additive and the salespeople say they have never seen it. I have a can of paint labeled Brillant Aluminium . I can spoon a heap of aluminium goop from the bottom of the can buts it very oily and even after three days it not dry. Definitely not a powder. Any pointers in the right direction? Thanks for sharing this composition Mr Axt.

Axt - 2-2-2005 at 22:34

I've attached the Urbanski explanation of gas voids = sensitivity.

It's interesting that xanthan gum cooperates with guar gum, creating a stiffer gel then either alone. So a mixture of guar/xanthan would be ideal.

Paint grade Al is an additive, coated in a light coat of oil to maintain its luster. Its very light "flowy" stuff that floats around everywhere and is very messy. Better bought as a resin filler to give the resin a metallic look. I guess you could clean the paint with xylene to retrieve the powder, likely not worth the trouble.

[Edited on 3-2-2005 by Axt]

gasbubbles.jpg - 74kB

Bert - 3-2-2005 at 09:40


Better bought as a resin filler to give the resin a metallic look. I guess you could clean the paint with xylene to retrieve the powder, likely not worth the trouble

Don't ask for it at a paint store, they have no interest in helping you make your own paint! Instead, investigate ART SUPPLY companies, especialy those selling casting resins and fillers. I have found several useful powdered metals this way...

fatkangaroo - 3-2-2005 at 13:55

Just a update on my experiment. Had a look at the putty this morning - still putty has not leaked the liquid out after 18 hours. One thing I did notice is when the powergel was weighed this morning it was 76 grams so I lost 24% over 18 hours. I made the stuff in a pyrex glass bowl and it was not covered, so maybe this stuff has to be kept in a air tight container. Went to blast it using 4 grams HMTD. Think I had a misfire but not sure. Saw some white smoke like in the video and some blast damage but it was very quiet compared to other detonations I have heard. I placed the charge at the base of a tree, it dug the dirt up around the tree and stripped the bark off the base of the tree. I found some of the sandwich bag it was contained in. So the plan for today is to make some more, keep it air tight and use a bigger cap.
Made another batch this time with 4 grams of xanthan gun. Much better consinstency. Wrapped the putty in cling film straight away and tested it. I ended up 97 grams as some stuck to the bowl. Used a 28 gram cap this time. No problem full detonation. :D I love this stuff! Takes around 5 minutes to make and for me around $32.00 per kilo.
After cleaning up after myself I now realize my report of 24% loss of product is not right. I probably lost 3 grams left in the bowl and a couple more left on the sandwich bag I used to knead the mixture.

[Edited on 4-2-2005 by fatkangaroo]

[Edited on 4-2-2005 by fatkangaroo]


MephistosMinion - 7-2-2005 at 21:36

Go me! I found 600 (close to) Al In Aus so I can use it for peroxide watergel, now to find a hydro shoppe that carries 50% H2O2. Hmmm...

fatkangaroo - 11-2-2005 at 12:02

After playing with this stuff all week IMHO this is a low to medium power explosive. I can only compare it to ANNM and PNNM which seem to have much more power. I have no real evidence though. I could just tell by the different sounds and crater size and shockwave. I still like it as a no fuss general purpose explosive, is a putty and can be made by the kilo for cheap.
On another note I can not get get Al powder off the shelf anywhere. Got out the yellow pages rang every fibreglass company, marine supply, auto supply and hardware in the book-no joy. If I want the alumimium powder I have to bite the bullet and get it from chemical supply. I dont mind buying there but I prefer OTC.

JohnWW - 11-2-2005 at 12:27

You could try making your own, by grinding up some scrap aluminium with a power grinder.

Mickhael - 11-2-2005 at 15:45

I have tons of scrap Al, but no way to effectivly grind it, what do you mean by a "powder grinder"?...or by what name of machine would I search under? Thanks!

[Edited on 11-2-2005 by Mickhael]

Skinflint - 11-2-2005 at 21:17

I've found that relatively fine aluminum powder can be made with an angle grinder. I grind inside of a plastic trash bin to catch the powder. I actually make magnesium and zinc powder the same way. It takes a little bit of time, but it works. Not to mention you could probably borrow one from a friend. If you don't know someone with one I'm sure you could buy a used one for about $30 US. They're very common. As for safety, It is important to use a mask to avoid inhaling fine metal powders.

J_O_H_N_Q - 13-2-2005 at 20:42

AXT, what size were the other charges placed on that sheet of metal?
For comparison purposes

The_Duke - 13-2-2005 at 21:09

Axt said earlier in the thread to check out the movies at his site for comparison.

I have successfully detonated 70% H2O2 mixed with very fine saw-dust,wood-pulk,ground cork ext. Just like the patent earlier in the thread mentioned.The "slurry explosives" remind me of AN mixtures both in power and performances.

I have recently tried the explosive proposed by Axt using 70%H2O2,AL and a small amount of guar gum, the power is much more noticeable.The AL really gives it a kick and the guar gum really makes this a workable explosive.

fatkangaroo - 14-2-2005 at 12:27

Not sure why my stuff is not as powerful as the product in the video. All I can put it down to is maybe my cap is not in intimate contact with the charge. This stuff really stings the hands if you get any on and dont wash it off straight away. When I get to the site thats when I put my cap in. But because I wrap it in about 5 layers of cling film it can be hard to get the cap in without getting the shit all over myself. So sometimes I strap the cap to the side of the charge. Another thing is I use the stuff with in 1 hour of making it so its possible that the product might need a little more time to mix properly. Last but not least some more confinement might help, but then you lose the plastic. I have let of 10 of these charges so far the biggest one being 250 grams. All results have been similar so far. I know when I get a good detonation as the sound carries and echos all over the hills and valleys for several seconds.

Axt - 15-2-2005 at 00:53

Its more then probable that the emulsion will show great variations in VOD with temperature/confinement/diametre/initiation etc. as with all emulsions. By your decription of the first charge it seems its capable of very low VOD's if not hit hard enough.

Dont try and make "side by side" comparisons with the other charges on that plate as the others were placed against the ground, whereas the peroxide/Al was leaned against a stump, thus not hindered. The movie of this was tagged onto the end of the other if noone noticed.

It costs me about $15 a kilo, thats twice as much as ANNM :( not that either are very expensive.

Axt - 22-2-2005 at 14:00

Somewhat along the same line of thought, along with drawing oxygen from water, another of aluminium's "talents" is to draw the chlorine from chorinated hydrocarbons.

I'm in no position to explode anything right now so someone may wish to try detonate chloropicrin mixed with aluminium powder, though even if aluminium was to take all the chlorine & oxygen it would still balance out at 72% chloropicrin, 28% aluminium. A thickener will be needed, styrofoam (polystyrene) should work.

I just tried mixing the three above chems, they seem compatible, at least in the short term.

fatkangaroo - 24-2-2005 at 12:37

This looks nice and easy. Just wondering about the chloropicrin. Was it homemade or bought? In my area one needs a current "Methyl Bromide User Certificate of Competency" to buy. It then goes onto to say 7 litres or less is OK in products containing 5% or less chloropicrin.:( whatever that means.

Axt - 24-2-2005 at 13:18

heh.. dont try buying it.

Mix ~450g 12.5% NaOCl with ~16g nitromethane and extract the chloropicrin off the bottom. Yeh, your using a perfectly good explosive to make a noxious stinky non-userfriendly blob ... but its more exotic and thats all that matters :) Oh, and read up on chloropicrins properties before going ahead, its nasty stuff, dont try approaching it if it doesnt fire ;)

[Edited on 24-2-2005 by Axt]

fatkangaroo - 24-2-2005 at 13:58

I have read up on chloropicrin its nasty stuff no doubt. Just want to give it a go to check it out and see if it will become part of the family:cool: or forgotten about.

Axt - 27-9-2005 at 20:46

I tried binding with xanthan gum, and compared it to guar gum. The xanthan doesn't have the binding power of guar and remained very pasty at 4% binder where guar held a plastic consistancy. Below, from left is 4% guar, 2%xanthan/2% guar & 4% xanthan. Both xanthan & guar were 80 mesh.

<center><img src=""></center>

"When mixed with xanthan gum or locust bean gum, the viscosity is more than when either one is used alone, so less of each can be used" <a href="">Source</a>.

A 50:50 mixture of xanthan to guar was still considerably softer then pure guar and was difficult to roll into a ball. But the "hanging ball" test showed funny results. The mixed binder held onto the 40mm rod for twice as long as the guar binder, even though its softer to knead. Pure xanthan gum only held on for a few seconds. Guar 13 minutes and guar/xanthan 25 minutes. But the pure guar was a much nicer consistancy to handle.

"The relatively low viscosity at high shear (of xanthan) means that it is easy to mix, pour and swallow but its high viscosity at low shear gives good suspension and coating properties and lends stability to colloidal suspensions." <a href="">Source</a>

On a seperate issue, I did try paint grade flake Al, the detonation lingered considerabbly longer then the 200 mesh, and didnt seem to show the brisance of the other charges. Compare the frames below to the others posted.

<center><img src=""></center>

Swany - 22-1-2006 at 18:16

Although this thread is quite dead, I have aquired some 600mesh German Dark Al. It seems that Mephisto's Minion has ventured out of the country for quite a while, so I shall test it with the 600 mesh stuff. I have some 27% H2O2 and some ~55% (somewhere... need to find that), guar gum, and the Al. I will work out the ratios.

There is only one problem that I can conjure. I am nearly positive that the Al is coated with carbon. If this is bonded to the Al in any sort of way that will keep water from removing it, troubles could be caused. I may add some Cu powder for a catalyst if this is an issue.

It looks like it is indeed a 'spectator explosive', I am rather enthralled. Perhaps the new Al will make the detonation less lingering, and the explosive more brisant. It is a very curious explosive indeed....

jpsmith123 - 23-1-2006 at 02:27

I don't have any experience with, knowledge of, or even much interest in H2O2 based explosives, but in reading this thread, I'm wondering, what about using soluble solid or liquid fuels; e.g., sugar, glycerine, ethylene glycol, etc.?
Seems to me you might get a VOD higher than you'd get from a finely divided fuel.

Also, has anyone tried using a crosslinking agent with the guar gum?

Swany - 23-1-2006 at 06:45

I belive if your H2O2 is concentrated enough, it will simply oxidise your fuel before you want it too, start on fire, or something similar. Al is rather special as a fuel for this for a number of reasons.

People (Boomer) have used 90% H2O2/starch as an explosive. It is also a 'mix at site' explosive, due to the fact that in a few hours it will be starch thickened water. :P

Patented Peroxide and Glycerine Explosive

jpsmith123 - 23-1-2006 at 08:34

I found a patent on it. Apparently it works as long as you're not using too much water. I'm sure it's not as energetic as an aluminized composition, but as I mentioned, it may be faster. I'm attaching the patent.

Attachment: 2452074.pdf (208kB)
This file has been downloaded 1859 times

Boomer - 23-1-2006 at 10:12

Interesting! Firstly, that with glycerine it is much less sensitive than with lower alcohols (I have seen MeOH and EtOH mentioned, IIRC over 6000 m/s but a dangerous mix).
Secondly, that up to 52% water it can be detonated. That means at upwards of 41% H2O2 (with dry glycerine) it works, and with those fuels that were said to be more sensitive, it could work with even a little more water! Though I expect using under 50-60% HP will not be worth it performance-wise.

I just remember, I 'forgot' some 30% H2O2 in the desiccator again around November. Might as well put it to use, should be 85+ percent by now ... :cool:

P.S. Does it attack the enamelled Cu wire of ionization probes? A VoD value would be nice if I can somehow seal the pipe ... :D

Axt - 25-1-2006 at 12:24

Also, has anyone tried using a crosslinking agent with the guar gum?

Borax was added to the Al/H2O2/guar explosive to act as a cross linking agent, but it actually fell apart quicker, even though borax itself doesn't seem to have any negative effects on the H2O2. I think its best left as a mix then use explosive.

Secondly, that up to 52% water it can be detonated. That means at upwards of 41% H2O2 (with dry glycerine) it works

Ethanol + 50% H2O2 at OB isn't sensitive to #8 det in ~100ml quantities in light confinement. This has been tried. I've put some extracts in the first quote of this thread, EtOH/H2O2/H2O supposedly can run up to 6700m/s.

P.S. Does it attack the enamelled Cu wire of ionization probes? A VoD value would be nice if I can somehow seal the pipe ...

It won't attack the wire, the wire may attack the H2O2 but does a few bubbles around the wires matter? I dont understand why you would have to seal the pipe, it doesnt really "gas off" at 50%, slowly over the course of 6 hours or so the gas bubbles will become noticable and the putty will eventually turn to liquid. Any sort of small hole in the pipe will prevent exposion.

I think its one best to use in large quantities. Take advantage of all that H2 blown into the air :cool:

EDIT: To get some fuel bound at the molecular level, maybe one could include urea peroxide, in effect giving higher concentration peroxide with less water. Quick calculation for max energy still requires 'eaps of Al to scavenge oxygen from the H2O/CO2. Not accounting for guar gum, I get the following, which probably should be double checked :cool:

44% Aluminium
20% Urea Peroxide
36% Hydrogen Peroxide (50%)

Urea peroxide is made by simply crystalising urea from >30% H2O2.

[Edited on 26-1-2006 by Axt]

stixx - 25-1-2006 at 19:14

so essentially this watergel is the perfect OTC can buy 70%h2o2 and glycerin by the drum very cheap
here in the united states. sucks for you europeons though.

Swany - 26-1-2006 at 12:53

No, it isn't the perfect explosive. There are still many questions that need awnsering before you could declare it as such. I also believe europeans would have no trouble getting those reagents either.

Unfortunatly, I have not been able to test the Al based gel yet. Perhaps tonight, or else it will be a few days.

fatkanga - 26-1-2006 at 15:07

I was wondering about this "Urea Peroxide" and exactly how one goes about making it. I have everything all ready but unsure about how to go about it.

As I understand it when you say "crystalising urea from 30% peroxide" you mean just stir around the urea at room temperature in a solution of 30% peroxide untill it dissolves then evaporate the peroxide and you have the urea peroxide? Im sorry if this is a stupid question, but im not much of a chemist but I can follow instructions.;)

I can also try this peroxide glycerine patent and hope I can get it to work. Al based peroxide costs me over double what glycerine and peroxide would cost.

stixx - 26-1-2006 at 18:37

What would be the stichiometry of hexamine dissolved instead of glyecerin. would this result in a more energetic material?

Swany - 26-1-2006 at 19:48

Hexamine's formula is C6H12N4, and glycerine's is C3H8O3, I will leave you to figure atomic weights, and continue. I highly doubt that hexamine would make a worthwhile additive, as it would not be as energetic, and mixing to homogeneity would be harder, as glycerol is a liquid.

So to the point, I don't think so. That is just me, though.

Axt - 27-1-2006 at 09:58

Originally posted by fatkanga
I was wondering about this "Urea Peroxide" and exactly how one goes about making it.

Dissolve urea in 2:3 molar excess of hot (60°C) 30% H2O2, then cool. CO(NH2)2.H2O2 should start crystalising out. then evaporate off to retrieve the "urea peroxide" aka "carbamide peroxide" aka "percarbamide" aka "urea hydrogen peroxidate" aka tradename "hyperol".

[Edited on 27-1-2006 by Axt]

Attachment: urea peroxide.pdf (685kB)
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MephistosMinion - 1-2-2006 at 02:42

Hardy har har... *shakes head*

I am now back in my beautiful home state of Tasmania after my overseas stint in Europe. I went and got some guar gum today and have -325 mesh Al set aside for this experiment. The only thing I need is the 50% H2O2. I have a little 35% left but I imagine it will not suffice. I found a store that carries it (albeit a little steep at $20 AU per 500ml)

I have moved my entire setup out to our property (90 acres of land) although I imagine I will not be able to pass this one a "rocket cato" to the neighbors :P

EDIT: Minor capitalisaiton and Americanistaion errors.

[Edited on 1-2-2006 by MephistosMinion]

hinz - 1-2-2006 at 03:28

About urea peroxide:
Has anyone compared the structure of acetone and urea? I'm wondering if you can't make an urea based explosive with a structure similar to acetone peroxide, since both have a carbonyl group. This means that it might be possible that you peroxide urea via electrophilic addition of a H+ion to the carbonyl double bound and later add (nucleophilic) a peroxyde cation (O-O-H)- to the C-atom to which the charge of the H+ has moved. Because the NH2 groups are more electronegative, they won't steal the possitive charge of the C+ ion. The only problem I see here that urea is a base and much more acid has to be used than with acetone peroxide.

Maybe there is one hitch I haven't seen

In the attachment is the AP reaction mechanism from frogfoot, I hope I may post it here since it's deleted.

Acetone peroxide reaction mechanism.gif - 10kB

chemoleo - 13-2-2006 at 18:40

As to crosslinking compounds, there are numerous possibilities - and have potential for experimentation:

Acrylamide forms nice gels at 10% concentrations, in H2O2. Crosslinking, aka polymerisation, is achieved by ammonium persulphate (and TEMED, N,N,N',N'-Tetramethylethylenediamine, but I am sure substitutes can be employed). With 50% H2O2, this should make an interesting polymer.

Others are of course agarose (did I mention this above?), which can be dissolved in the H2O2, and heated to ~60 deg C, to then let it set.

Another one is alginate, which is easily obtained from arts-retailers. From personal experience, it sets with the smallest amount of water.

Then, another possibility is to make bakelite-type gels/polymers. For this one needs formaldehyde, water/H2O2 and phenol. Alternatively, water/H2O2, formaldehyde and urea also forms solid polymers. The same holds for guanidine base, CH2O and water.
These however may form primary explosives interspersed in the gel - so they could be quite interesting.

"Binex 400"

jpsmith123 - 22-2-2006 at 19:27

Axt's mention of an explosive comprising water and powdered aluminum got me looking into it a little bit (the thought that it may be possible to make such a potentially highly energetic material from two simple substances is fascinating, IMO).

Anyway, although I didn't find any examples of a commercial explosive based strictly on H2O + Al, I found something else I never heard of before:

Apparently there is a fairly "powerful" commercial explosive called "Binex 400" comprised of H2O, Al, and some sodium perchlorate (although the proportions I don't know).

In case anyone is interested, I'll try to attach the paper I found regarding tests comparing "Binex" to some other high explosives.

I think I found a patent related to "Binex". US #5226986 gives examples of NaClO4, H2O and Al, but the Al in the examples is apparently not powdered but granular, and not unexpectedly the mixture seems to be relatively insensitive, has a relatively large critical diameter and a low VOD comparable to ANFO.

[Edited on 23-2-2006 by jpsmith123]

Attachment: Rickman_Demo_NDIA.pdf (497kB)
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ZoSo357 - 21-6-2006 at 05:52

I've recently aquired a few pounds of 625 mesh Al, and am planning to test out some of this peroxide watergel. I have 35% H2O2 which I plan to test it with. I'm thinking that I'll go about steaming some of the H2O2 up to a 50% concentration, but I also want to test out the 35% concentration since it seems that nobody has tried this yet.

My problem is that I don't know how to properly adjust the ratio's for aluminum/H2O2 from 50% concentration to 35% concentration. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Axt - 21-6-2006 at 17:20

Originally posted by ZoSo357
My problem is that I don't know how to properly adjust the ratio's for aluminum/H2O2 from 50% concentration to 35% concentration. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Dont change the ratios, theres no significant difference between reducing H2O or H2O2 to H2. There is going to be <1% difference between the ratios when changing 50% to 35%.

ZoSo357 - 21-6-2006 at 17:27

I guess I'll stick with the 50:50 ratio then?

Now I basically just have to get guar gum or xanthan. If i become impatient before I get the chance to get out, I'll probably try starch, and note it's performance. Thanks for the help.

EDIT: Also, how sensitive is this to detonation? I see you use .5 grams of PETN Axt (like with most of your dets) but I usually use Acetone peroxide for detonators. Would a 1 gram AP detonator suffice for this?

Edit 2: I've mixed up a small sample of this to examine how it reacts. I added 2.5 grams of aluminum powder, 2.5 grams of H2O2 and 0.1 gram of starch. it mixed into a kind of thick mixture somewhere between jam, and paint. It seems to have grown in mass so I would believe that would be from the formation of air bubbles. Next step would be to try this again with a larger batch and see if it detonates.

[Edited on 22-6-2006 by ZoSo357]

franklyn - 1-7-2006 at 16:28

Everything you always wanted to know about hydrogem peroxide

Marsh - 31-7-2006 at 22:50

(Sorry to have to raise this question as it has been briefly discussed in a few places, but I haven't exactly found a source...hope it is ok to ask in this thread.)

If you don't mind sharing supplier info, where are you guys finding your H2O2 with over 60% concentration levels? I would distill the H2O2, but I am rather limited with my current lab inventory.

I have so far managed to find one supplier for 60% H2O2, but this seems to be the peak of what my searching can bring from the net.

I noticed it has been mentioned about 70% industrial grade peroxide being readily available, but where might I ask is it so readily available?

In another thread, there is mention about the Baquacil Ultra spa cleaner with vented cap (I believe regular Baquacil is around 30%). Our local pool supply carries this product, but at $34/500ml it is a bit hefty of a price. I imagine it will not top 55-60% concentration either, and if it was say 70% the price might be reasonable for me to use for testing. Has anyone yet gathered info on the Ultra's actual concentration level? (I'm really as concerned though about Baquasil specifically either way, just curious for fact, as the price tends to keep me away.)

I would like to perform some experiments on the peroxide watergel explosives shortly, and continue the data. There seems to be some contradicting (well, widely varied) info gathered, even from this thread, and I find it interesting to see what a wide span there seems to be. From what I have gathered, it seems 50%+ H2O2 conc is desireable for sensitivity reasons, and 70% would(may) appear rather optimal in this scenario provided it is easily accessed/available (although, I would like to test this idea by obtaining 70% concentration myself)...even though complete detonation occured in the scenarios using 50% h2o2 w/ 0.5g PETN det...there still seems to be conflicting info when aluminum type used comes into play.

It seems to me that the aluminum used may be the number one contributing factor, once sensitivity can be satisfied by use of at least 50% H2O2 (maybe even less concentration as stated, though). I do have both -600 mesh indian blackhead Al as well as -325 (possibly -400, need to identify under the microscope) mesh standard Al powder. I would like to first be sure the latter Al is uncoated and thus non-painting grade, I do not believe it is coated, but any ideas on finding this out?

I would like to attempt sensitivity tests between the various Al types, maybe even obtain finer Al than what I have, if it seems to be leading to something. I would like to attempt specific sensitivity tests between various h2o2 concentration levels used also, provided I can aquire the higher concentrations (60%+). 27% conc h2o2 watergel would be preferable, if it could be proven to be more easily detonated than what has been experienced. Like Axt said, it may have only been 20% conc levels he was working with instead of the predicted 30% in the failed test.

I have a coal bucket which has 1/4" steel walls as well as 1/2" walls in various sections. I would like to dismantle this eyesore sometime and I wouldn't mind doing it while testing the watergels.

The earlier photo of the watergel vs ANNM looks promising, even though it was less confined by its (plates) placement. I would like to test against ANNM+Xylol/H2SO4 as well, but I have no NM currently so this may have to wait for some time. Afterall, these two explosives really haven't been directly compaired, from what I can find.

not_important - 1-8-2006 at 01:47

You don't to distill the H2O2, as such. Instead you boil off the water, leaving the H2O2 behind. Use reduced pressure and a temperature of 35 to 50 C. This boils off a dilute solution of H2O2 that reaches 10% to 15% as the liquid reaches 70% H2O2.

Arrr - can't give you a reference, check 19th and early 20th century inorganic books for H2O2 preparation, they were always concentrating the dilute stuff they got from BaO2.

Marsh - 1-8-2006 at 10:46

Thank you...for some reason I thought its bp was lower than water...stupid mistake I guess.

I would gladly purchase 70% if I can find it, to save just a bit more time.

If anyone could send me in the right direction, it would be really appreciated.

I have remained searching all morning, the 60% supplier I have found apparently has shut down and I cannot order. All I am finding is these darn MSDS sheets all over the net for H2O2, yet no links to their suppliers when searching.

[Edited on 1-8-2006 by Marsh]

Marsh - 1-8-2006 at 15:08

Alright, I picked up 27.5% H2O2 from a pool supply, to be concentrated hopefully around 60-70%.

After leaving, I read that there is (I assume mild) concentrations of surface agents, whatever these are specifically for I do not know.

I realize these should be ok in this instance, but has anyone had problems with additives in conjunction with an Al mix or acetone peroxide? Sorry I am getting off topic here but I figured there is enough talk about peroxide here to be somewhat relative.

If these surface agents might be a problem, I can return for food grade 35% peroxide from another supplier.

[Edited on 2-8-2006 by Marsh]

not_important - 2-8-2006 at 12:46

Most additives for H2O2 are stablizers, chelating agents and the like. That mentions the more common ones and the types of peroxide they are likely to be used with (type as 'the intended application'). Surface agents sounds like the intended use is for cleaning or sterilizing surfaces, where you want to make sure they get wetted by what you apply.

The phosphate based stablisers might cause problems with Al, as from what has been written here the Al must react a bit with the H2O2 to form bubbles. If that turned out to be a problem, a small amount of alum solution could be added to the H2O2 just before mixing everything else up, as that would react with the phosphates first.

As for surface agents, hard to tell. Would depend on which surface agents are used, and even then the concentration of them might make a difference.

ZoSo357 - 8-12-2006 at 22:39

I hate to bring up an old thread, but here goes.

I was looking into substitutes for guar gum, and i came accross something called "pectin crystals" which is a crystallized powdery substance which comes naturally from certain fruits like lemons and apples. It's used in jams and jellies as a thickener. I plan on testing a mixture of 625 mesh aluminum, "certo" brand pectin crystals, and 35% H2O2 some time this week.

Any thoughts on what this may perform like?

pyrotekniker - 9-12-2006 at 02:04

I can easily get < 50 µm Aluminium powder. It is atomized, but is that good enought? Or do I need flakes?

In my garage, I allready got a some litres of 50% H2O2, which I'm going to try to make Watergel Peroxide out of ;)

[Edited on 9-12-2006 by pyrotekniker]

ZoSo357 - 9-12-2006 at 05:53

I know axt used paint grade aluminum (200 mesh) but im not totally sure if it's atomized or not. It may be since spherical aluminum gives more of a shiny appearance than flake aluminum.

You could always try mixing a small batch and see if it forms bubbles.

EDIT: You can pretty well scratch any chance of the pectin crystals working. I tried mixing it in the proper ratio, and 2 or 4 percent pectin to peroxide/fuel isn't enough to gel anything really.

[Edited on 9-12-2006 by ZoSo357]

pyrotekniker - 10-12-2006 at 00:48

OK, guess I'm going to try a small batch then. Maybe I'm going to try to make gel out of it in some other way. Polyisobutylene maybe.

It seems like it is quite sensitive, going to try use a small comercial blasting cap.

Bert - 10-12-2006 at 07:40

PIB isn't water soluable. Guar gum is easy to find and cheap.

Nixie - 8-2-2007 at 20:04

Originally posted by fatkanga
Dissolve urea in 2:3 molar excess of hot (60°C) 30% H2O2, then cool. CO(NH2)2.H2O2 should start crystalising out. then evaporate off

How long would I have to keep this on my teeth for whitening? Are the dentist whiteners based on carbamide peroxide mixed with something else? I'm reading "pH optimized for whitening"... WTF does this mean, should it be basic or acidic? And how do you prevent burning your gums? Anyone know how long the dentist-office strength product is kept on the teeth?

BTW what's a recipe for a suitable gel to dissolve this in so I can apply to my teeth?

[Edited on 9-2-2007 by Nixie]

E-tech - 28-12-2008 at 22:04

Old thread, but interesting, to say the least.
Found that a mixture of 42% Al powder, 30.13% AN, and 27.87% water made a cap-sensative explosive with a 4000M/sec detonation rate.
The interesting thing about the mix is that it the edges of the metal witness plate it was tested on were partially melted after the detonation.
Check patent #2,836,484 "Aqueous metal powder explosive" for details.
interestingly enough, the military has re-discovered the fact that combustion of Al in the air is more effective in a confined space than most explosives.
do a google search for "Shock dispersed fuels" or "Combustion of shock dispersed flake aluminum- high speed visualization"
Thermobarics fans will love it.

497 - 28-12-2008 at 23:24

Now replace the 28% H2O with high percentage hydrogen peroxide and see what happens. :D

E-tech - 29-12-2008 at 11:31

just what I was thinking- even a weak 3% peroxide should help, but higher strength would likely be a lot more fun!
Very glad I got that rock tumbler for Al powder making- I'm gonna need to keep it running!
by the way, 1.5 grams of hmtd or tatp is equal to a number 8 blasting cap- capable of setting off detcord and civilian explosives.

franklyn - 3-1-2009 at 15:49

Originally posted by E-tech
Old thread, but interesting, to say the least.
Found that a mixture of 42% Al powder, 30.13% AN, and 27.87% water
made a cap-sensitive explosive with a 4000M/sec detonation rate.

Very funny , was that actually measured out to two significant places ?
Post this expedient method to measure VOD - that is far more interesting.

Varying the ingredient composition only alters the detonation sensitivity
which for this type of composition is already at the high end of insensitivity.
The singular desirable property of this mix is the highest available energy
per unit weight, and that expended only as blast rather than brisance.
H2O + Al alone ( If it could detonate ) would yield 1760 Kcal / Kg
NH4NO3 + Al alone yields ~ 2400 Kcal / Kg
You won't improve on the military formulation which yields 2350 Kcal / Kg
Al 40 % , AN 40 % , 20 % H2O + polystyrene soap binder
VOD is well under 5 - Km/ sec , and requires IIRC some 16 or so fuzes
girdling the base to set off reliably because without suitable confinement
the slurry tends to be dispersed by the explosion rather than propagating
detonation, lowering the intensity of the blast wave in air.

More interesting are solutions at some concentration of H2O2
for example : 3 parts 90 % H2O2 solvates 2 parts NH4NO3.
Very pure H2O2 or its concentrated water solutions cannot be made to
propagate detonation except confined at critical diameter, initiated by a
booster. R-OH or unsaturated hydrocarbons present at some percentage
will render it highly shock sensitive, VOD well over 7 Km/ sec.

In this respect it is no different than water. Sensitizing without
inducing rapid decomposition or runaway conditions is key.
Previously noted by me in this other thread
and here _

quote :
Hydrogen Peroxide and its aqueous solutions also posses, in general,
solvent or solute relationships that are similar to water. The result
of several experiments show that sodium fluoride, potassium nitrate,
various potassium or sodium phosphates, potassium chloride, and
sodium or potassium sulfate are more soluble in H2O2 than in water.
Sodium nitrate, sodium chloride, silver nitrate, lead nitrate, and
lithium nitrate and sulfate are less soluble in H2O2 than water.
chlorine and iodine are only slightly soluble in anhydrous H2O2.

My note : valid for those salts which are near pH neutral or acid
since H2O2 is decomposed by basic substances. Low pH promotes
reaction with other materials in solution, dissolving Cu, Ag, Hg.
An interesting exception is the ClO3- ion which neutral or alkaline is
not reactive. ClO4- ion is not reactive at any pH and it is used in
Mg(ClO4)2 as a drying agent when concentrating H2O2.

It would appear that a peroxide solution of modest concentration perhaps
the highest available OTC spiked with some non-reacting oxidizer and
fueled with aluminum and suitable trace of an organic to sensitize,
can be detonable.


wolfy_9005 - 29-3-2009 at 09:29

If your going to use gelatine, pour boiling water over it, then add it to the h202. Maybe heat the h202 to around 50-60C then stir it in. The gelatine usually comes in a sheet, and you need to soak these first. They should feel squishy, but wont fall apart if done correctly. Then drain as much excess water off as possible, and add to the h202.

Or, make yourself some jelly - all you need to add is a flavouring :)

And i think guar gum is used to make chewing gum chewy, so it may be mouldable, assuming it will stay in solution with the h202/etc and act like a chewing gum, and not as a gel, per se.

Learnt this when i went to school to learn how to cook :p

hellfire23 - 29-3-2009 at 15:15

Quote: Originally posted by wolfy_9005  
If your going to use gelatine, pour boiling water over it, then add it to the h202. Maybe heat the h202 to around 50-60C then stir it in. The gelatine usually comes in a sheet, and you need to soak these first. They should feel squishy, but wont fall apart if done correctly. Then drain as much excess water off as possible, and add to the h202.

Or, make yourself some jelly - all you need to add is a flavouring :)

And i think guar gum is used to make chewing gum chewy, so it may be mouldable, assuming it will stay in solution with the h202/etc and act like a chewing gum, and not as a gel, per se.

Learnt this when i went to school to learn how to cook :p

With that method you will need a higher H2O2 percentage, to account for the water.

Also I found guar gum, about 3 grams, inside one of those kid friendly science kits. It was a slime kit.

SM2 - 6-9-2012 at 10:11

actually if you want 70% & beyond, you'll be purchasing Food Grade, and it will probably be sold to you as an alternative to bromine for spa's.