Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Tannerite

kABOOM! - 24-12-2005 at 17:38

I hear this stuff is being sold as easy to get a hold of- high explosive. What is it? I do know it is sensitve to bullet hits...

humm...what could it be made from?

lacrima97 - 24-12-2005 at 17:54

Tannerite is a composition of NH4NO3, NH4ClO4, Al, ZrH2, and titanium sponge.

From Vepr on APC.

kABOOM! - 24-12-2005 at 21:10

wow! thats pretty hard to manufacture on your own. I'll stick with APAN or MEKPAN...or a varient of that... it should work well if shot at from a distance.

12AX7 - 24-12-2005 at 22:56

Axt detonated some CuO/Al (magnalium or magnesium would work even better) targets by impact, no?

Tim

Lotek_ - 25-12-2005 at 11:20

Quote:
Originally posted by kABOOM!
I hear this stuff is being sold as easy to get a hold of- high explosive. What is it? I do know it is sensitve to bullet hits...

humm...what could it be made from?


ia this regarding that video/site of the man shooting bottles of it with a rifle and having it combust?

it was soem kind of flash comp i belive that he called by the same name.

Axt - 27-12-2005 at 06:58

Quote:
Originally posted by 12AX7
Axt detonated some CuO/Al (magnalium or magnesium would work even better) targets by impact, no?

Tim


200 mesh resin filler Al with pottery store CuO will expolde violently via a shot from a .25/06 under all circumstances. With a .22lr it wont ignite unless taped onto a 3mm steel back plate, and then it tends to ignite and shoot off like a rocket when hit.

a_bab - 27-12-2005 at 17:08

Actually tannerite is just ammonium nitrate and Al powder. So it's a rip off.

kABOOM! - 27-12-2005 at 21:15

So AN + Al is impact sensitive? Tannerite will detonate when shot by small calibre bullets...so your positive its just AN+Al?

Sickman - 27-12-2005 at 22:13

Ammonium nitrate can be sensitized by many substances.

One mixture that would be sure to be sensitive to small arms fire is a mixture of ammonium nitrate, picric acid and sulfur.
However this mixture must be kept dry to prevent formation of ammonium picrate and sulfur picrate.

Maybe simply just a mixture of ammonium nitrate and sulfur would be of satisfactory sensitivity. However you will likely get many cases of low order detonation/deflagrations as opposed to positive high order detonation. Sulfur would certainly make ammonium nitrate more cap sensitive.

The main problem with ammonium nitrate mixtures is that they tend to low order detonate unless properly overdriven with a suitable booster charge. Probably just shooting at a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum will just deflagerate like black powder, after all ammonium nitrate can be used as a substitute for potassium nitrate in a similar "black powder" mixture.

Joeychemist - 27-12-2005 at 23:00

Quote:
Originally posted by Sickman
Probably just shooting at a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum will just deflagerate like black powder, after all ammonium nitrate can be used as a substitute for potassium nitrate in a similar "black powder" mixture.


ANAl mixtures will detonate when fired into by a suitable riffled projectile traveling at the right velocity. The kinetic energy formed upon impact will cause the detonation of such a composition.

Because AN is used along with C in Ammonpulver as a propellant does not mean that it will not explode, the routes of decomposition are different.;)

simply RED - 29-12-2005 at 07:45

AN-Al (10-20%) mix detonates from 20 grams pentatol (petn + TNT) booster. I have used improvised 100 grams urea nitrate booster for such mix.


"However this mixture must be kept dry to prevent formation of ammonium picrate and sulfur picrate."

Sulfur picrate does not exist.

"Tannerite is a composition of NH4NO3, NH4ClO4, Al, ZrH2, and titanium sponge."

Lacrima, u make me cry :}

kABOOM! - 29-12-2005 at 14:41

Well, Monday i'm going to try several different "bullet" sensitive mixtures....I'll post some video if its alright with the forum managers.

jpsmith123 - 3-1-2006 at 17:18

Just in case anyone is interested, I was browsing the patent applications and came across the application for "Tannerite". So it's there and not hard to find.

Shooting at reactive targets like that must be a really fun hobby. I hope no one ever abuses it, gets hurt, or uses it maliciously, thereby ruining it for everyone.

Anyway, if possible, please post your results, kABOOM.

kABOOM! - 11-1-2006 at 21:38

videos will have to wait for the time being. Okay, so what did I test?
Using a 30-06 hunting rifle- hunting loads- 150grain
velocity of projectile- average: 2915 fps @ 2930 ft/lbs
target: 100 yrd distance

Target #1: CuO + Al (50/50) = bright flash, followed by a loud bang followed by intense sparks- brown cloud.
Target *2: AP + AN (65/35) = a slight flash and a loud bang, lots of smoke...
Target #3: AN+ MEKP + Al (55/40/5)= bright flash, and a sharp explosion
Target #4: AN + NM + Al = nothing... container burst, no explosion

waxman - 5-6-2006 at 16:49

AP alone goes off with a nice flash/bang with a 2550 fps .17HMR bullet. It would be ideal if it could be made "a little" less sensitive/safer transportable.
Of course, shotgun shells make a cheap easy reactive target. Glue a BB and a quarter on the primer cap if you can't hit the cap alone!

Canuck - 7-6-2006 at 22:21

I know that AP goes off by hitting with a pellet gun or a light hammer strike. Done it .
Mixing it with AN makes it (somewhat) less sensitive, but with the addition of a bit of distilled water makes it totally insensitive to shock. Before use dry it out and pack it in a thick paper target -- whola-- you got cheaply made tannerite that is .22 sensitive to about 160 yards .. ratio is 65:35 AP:AN..
More AP than AN makes it work properly.

--- I did a test target last week sunday. I have a funny story about it propelling a 50 lb steel target into the bushes.. I cracked the weldings it was moored to ..
Not quite what I had in mind. :o

waxman - 12-6-2006 at 02:25

Canuck- Quite the reactive target! What was in it?

Boomer - 12-6-2006 at 03:21

"...ratio is 65:35 AP:AN. More AP than AN makes it work properly"

That makes it a primary explosive. Think what it did to the 50 pounds of steel, and imagine a little friction or static build-up from filling the paper target, while holding it...

I sense a darwin award coming to you. :(

Seriously, that stuff *has* gone off from just pouring it from a folded paper or similar normal handling. I would shit my pants handling more than a gram at once, and I am perfectly comfortable with a pound of plastique in my pant pocket.
This comes from a guy distilling ether in his kitchen, and sprinkling glacial acetic on his salad!

Canuck - 12-6-2006 at 23:01

well yes, It was 65% AP 35% AN.
The target was about 350g taped flat onto the ~20lb ( gestimation here) "sorry not 50lb as stated earlier" steel plate .5" thick by 15" across anchored to a rebar post planted in the ground.. The target had enough force to crack the weldings on the rebar and send the plate 50feet backwards with a HUGE booom.. Emphasis on the word HuGE!

The plate was warped and bowled in ~2.5-3" and was recovered later the next day in some bushes downrange.. I vacated rather quickly as the sound was deafening.

I am not going to try this one again.

No APAN has not/cannot go off while it is slightly moistend with distilled water when you are using a plastic spoon as your measurement tool. The water acts to buffer the crystals to prevent such an incedent. Targets are made of thick paper the water is absorbed into it and the target is ready to be used.
You also cannot set off dry APAN by pouring it from a paper cup( unless you contaminated it with metallic ions ), you can't as their isn't enough friction to set it off trust me I have tried (myth busting). What did work, an accident potential was getting large crystals trapped on the underside of a metal spoon and tapping it against a hard surface.. if one was close enough to the bag of APAN you could almost certainly set all of it off.. same goes for screw cap containers .. they are a NO ! DO NOT USE THEM AROUND APAN

[Edited on 13-6-2006 by Canuck]

exploding targets?

lucky123 - 27-3-2008 at 19:53

Anyone know what the vod of the 50 50 mix of cuo and al and how does this compare to an/al 95:5 mix. Also why does cuo and aluminum mix detonate... and can other oxides be used to make targets as well with similiar effects?

Leander - 28-3-2008 at 02:13

The CuO/Al mixture is one of the fastest thermite reactions known, but it really doesn't detonates, but simply deflagerates. Metaloxides as an oxidiser are simply not energetic enough to make that happen. Other oxides are possible to. MnO2, possibly Pb3O4 and expessially CrO3 (poisonous!) seem to produce pretty sensitive and fast thermite reactions to.

IMO ammonal (AN/Al) is really not cap sensitive at all. It recuires a large booster to give a high order detonation, its sensitivity is probably more similar to ANFO than to APAN. Any reactions visible will probaly just be caused by the impact of the bullet alone, or by the mixture deflagerating.

A really good and well known high order exploding target composition consist of AN, KClO3 and CH3NO2. When mixed, small amounts of NH4ClO3 are formed making the mixture sensitive to initiation by even small caliber bullets. :)

E-tech - 3-4-2008 at 12:20

that's strange- I've always had an easy time getting ammonal to high-order whenever I want. My caps tend to be 1 to 1.5 grams of primary, though. Perhaps you are not grinding the AN well enough? Another (safer than a chlorate) sensitizer that can be used is either hexamine, or partial substitution of the Al with a liquid fuel (US patent#4330346- cap-sensitive powdered explosive composition). Suprisingly enough- water is an excellent sensitizer for AN/Al mixtures (US patent# 2836484 Aqueous metal powder explosive).
They may be easy and entertaining to make- it would be nicer if they could beat the 4000meters/sec. velocity, though. I'm used to shattering steel like it was glass:D

E-tech - 3-4-2008 at 12:37

oops- almost forgot- adding something like teflon or PVC coatings, or powders to the Al will make it more reactive in explosive formulations, as well.

grndpndr - 12-6-2010 at 17:28

Is anone aware of state/fed laws prohibiting the manufacture of your own tannerite type of target?
I see this sort of thing in the net frequently along with the ratios
etc.One being a detailed notebook style of ratios,sensitivities etc
mixtures included RC nitro fuels/?.Some sensitive to RF some only HP rounds.Assuming a guy follows the fed rules concerning a binarys does the no explosive until mixed follow here.Binary targets sound liken fun until you price thyem and add insult for
hazmat!! For a fed non explosive material:(

Im not anxious to phone the local ATF, like most gov agencys if you didnt ask for them be wary if they show.AND if you do call,
w/obligatory name/nombre about unknowingly committing a possible felony good luck to you and if possible retain a lawyer.:D

The WiZard is In - 12-6-2010 at 19:21

Quote: Originally posted by kABOOM!  
I hear this stuff is being sold as easy to get a hold of- high explosive. What is it? I do know it is sensitve to bullet hits...

humm...what could it be made from?



Tannerite binary exploding targets
Daniel Jeremy Tanner
US Patent 9/872187

The idea of an exploding target which is sold in "two parts" and is
not classified as an explosive until a catalyst is added to the main
target, is a completely unique idea which increases the safety of
the exploding target and also allows the product to be safely
shipped in a "non-hazardous"...


----
EXPLODING TARGET
by The WiZ (On odd numbered days -- donald j haarmann)
AKA Just another old fart.
PGII Bulletin #48

In Bulletin No. 45, Bob Winokur reported on an "Interesting
Pyrotechnic Device". This item was patented on 12 February
1985, as an Explosive Target, US Patent Number 4,498,677.
The patent's abstract is as follows: "An explosive target
for firearm marksmanship has a hollow rectangular block-
shaped body assembly including an internal bore containing
an explosive charge which detonates upon projectile impact.
A charge retaining disc forcibly inserted within the bore
retains the charge adjacent the rear wall of the body
assembly. A target imprinted on the front wall of the body
assembly is coaxially aligned with the bore."

[These were banned by the ATF a few years back. /djh/]

The patent provides that: "Any suitable stable explosive
compound which will detonate upon projectile impact may be
used in practicing the invention and there are many
well-known commercially available compositions which should
be suitable for this purpose. However, I have found the
following formula to be most satisfactory.

Parts by weight
Potassium chlorate 18
Sulfur 6
Black fine powdered aluminum (400 mesh) 6
Bran 2-2.3

The aforementioned dry ingredients which include discrete
loosely associated granular components are preferably mixed
in dry form to produce the explosive charge."

This 60/20/20 - 3/1/1 combination Of potassium
chlorate/sulfur/aluminum is similar to a formula in
Shimizu's Fireworks, Thunder #1 (43/26/31), and Tenny Davis
(2/1/1) page 117. Perhaps the increased percentage of the
potassium chlorate is to make the mixture more sensitive.

It should be noted that the actual device may differ greatly
from the device described in its associated patent as the
patent filing date is 22 March 1983, and
changes/improvements may have been made since then

The patent cites five other patents as references, they are
as follows:

727,419. 1903. Flying target. A round target comprising
three discs, the inner disc one being a "fulminate" one. "By
the term 'fulminate' I do not mean only an explosive or
detonating substance, since material which when hit or
pierced will smoke, ignite, or burn more or less slowly may
be included by such term." There are no suggestions in the
patent as to what these substances may be.

1,091,116. 1914. Impact illuminated target for pleasure
shooting. "My invention consists in a target having its
impact-surface treated with a flash-light composition
igniting on the impact of the bullet to produce a
circumscribed illumination of the target about the point of
impact of the bullet upon its surface ... As an example of
such a preparation, I may instance a composition of chlorate
of potash, magnesium and collodin applied with an ordinary
brush."

1,145,585. 1915. Target. Small animal figure etc. covered
with a "paint having therein a small proportion of explosive
material, such for instance as well-known match-making
chemicals, with a component of explosive chlorates or the
like incorporated therein." The following compositions are
suggested:

Yellow flashing Parts by wt. Red flashing Parts by wt.

Red phosphorus 3 Red phosphorus 3
Potassium nitrate 2 Strontium nitrate 1-1/2
Antimony sulfid (sic) 1 Lithium carbonate 1
Glue (5% solution) 1 Antimony sulfid (sic) 1
Glue (5% solution) 1
Green flashing Parts by wt.

Red phosphorus 3
Barium nitrate 3
Antimony sulfid (sic) 1
Glue (5% solution) 1

If you are thinking of reproducing any of the above
compositions, make me beneficiary of your life insurance
policy first, I could use the money!

4,243,288. 1981. Remotely-perceptible impact-indicating
projectile target. There are no pyrotechnics involved in
this patent.

The targets described in the recent patent are advertised in
the Shotgun News, [1985] $26.50/40 targets postpaid [deleted /djh/
] The ad also states that they are "Legal and safe for
public use." Lots-of-luck trying to convince the local PD
that you are not shooting off fireworks.



grndpndr - 12-6-2010 at 20:14


I posted a qoute by Gerald Hurst regarding tannerite (dec 06)
wher he basically described the tannerite as a well known flash composition niether a HE nor a deflagrating type explosive.
That Mr Tanner showing great IMHO grasp of salesmanship marketed the mix as a legal explosive target.FWIW But it is in fact a qoute though not a direct qoute of Mr Hurst.

Why is Tannerite considered a binary given the # of chemicals it contains?AN/NM I can grasp,tannerite w/its #components..
And the apparent confusion surrounding tannerite as an AL/AN
mix just less AL than ammonal?

If or esteemed LEO shows at an innoportune time hope you have a letter from ATF or manufacturer of the device.Its not the arrest that will hurt your likely to be released within hours
but getting back your confiscated firearms from the homo sapiens in blue may cost you beau coup (forever) time and money assuming the
"EVIDENCE" isnt lost by then. Fair warning

[Edited on 13-6-2010 by grndpndr]

legality clarification wanted

biomagir - 11-1-2013 at 05:09

I know i'm replying to a 3yr old discussion bumped by a spam prick but the quote below disturbed me...
Quote: Originally posted by grndpndr  


If or esteemed LEO shows at an innoportune time...Its not the arrest that will hurt your likely to be released within hours
but getting back your confiscated firearms from the homo sapiens in blue may cost you beau coup (forever) time and money assuming the
"EVIDENCE" isnt lost by then. Fair warning

[Edited on 13-6-2010 by grndpndr]


anyone with more knowledge care to comment how much power LEO would have, or what they could do, be it local state(Pa) or fed (which i think i'm ok with since i follow orange book practices), for ex., its private rural property, houses spaced out 100yd+ apart... someone calls in a noise complaint of "large explosions" (shooting binary target mixes, 300+yds from any house)... what can/may they do? i have a clear record but am not into the hobby enough to apply for ATF license, its more state side i wonder about anyways since even bottle rockets can't be sold to residents here. I assume my private property experiments are no one's business and the law is cool with that. And given that a stone quarry 2 miles away rumbles the earth on occasion, i figure i'm in the clear doing what i do.

I'm doubtful of the quoted "warning"even applied to public property where shooting is allowed, but it still bothered me and I'd like to know more. This is the USA, but ptriot-acted and now post sandy hook, i just imagine a distant neighbor gets "concerned" of repeated explosive noises and gun shots, and, ya know..

I have no enemies around, and a neighbor about 500yds away is louder than me at times with fireworks and guns, it was like we were competing new years eve who could make the most noise...

I imagine someone could exaggerate, get the attention of LE, maybe so they can feel like a jolly good citizen pointing fingers at possible "bad activities"; I'm kinda new into this area, but much restricted in my interest, to flash targets (AN failed with 5% Al even with a 5.56, and no way i'm paying tannerite prices, so i make my own small ones similar to thunder#3.)





[Edited on 11-1-2013 by biomagir]

[Edited on 11-1-2013 by biomagir]

isobutane - 11-1-2013 at 12:54

The easy to make version of tanerite is a 95:5 ratio of AN and Al.
That will be sensitive to a projectile going at 2300 fps or faster. That is also to mix that non-name brand tanertie.

The real mix is far less powerful then an:al. The oxidizer is a mix of 85% AN and 15% AP (ammonium perchlorate). The catalyst as they call it (i know it is the fuel) is a mix of 90% fine all powder usually about 600 mesh or finer. 5% Ti sponge about 325 making it courser will make better sparks at 325 mesh it adds Ti color. The 5% could be anything from zirconium hydroxide to nicrome powder.


Ammonal

Grantr - 19-9-2015 at 16:28

Since Tannerite is so dang expensive I found out that fertilizer grade AN and German black Aluminum powder will do the same thing for a fraction of the cost. Cost per pound is about 78 cents. 50 lbs of AN 34-0-0 is $17.

I have tired ratios of 95/5 97/3 and 99/1. All detonate however 97/3 seems to be the stronger one being shot with 223 and 308 rifles. 85/15 and 90/10 did not detonate being shot they just sort of poped and burned. Grinding the An seems to make is stronger however a 7.5 pound finely ground target did not go off with a 308. Setting a 1/4 pound target by it did make the charge go off.

I have also tried setting of 94/6 ANFO with 1/4 pound 97/3 Ammonal charges. So have made some impressive booms however it is hit and miss if they go off well. All of these charges are unconfined in zip lock bags.

What does grinding the ammonium nitrate do exactly? Make the charge denser and harder to set off but stronger? IS there an idea mix ratio for the strongest explosion?

I guess explosives are like drugs. You start wanting to chase the dragon. I have my eyes set on making some ETN. I want a loud sharper bang and something I can possible split so old stumps with.


Grant

greenlight - 19-9-2015 at 21:11

I have always heard ratios should be around 95:5 AN/Al but have never experimented with AMMONAL.
It isn't oxygen balanced and that what makes it more sensitive I think and what causes the large cloud of decomposition product that can be seen when it is detonated.

Since it is just a fuel/oxidizer mix, grinding more finely would create a more intimate mixture between the two and the smaller particles would react faster and be more sensitive to impact.
Increasing the charge density would get an increased VOD compared to just loose in a zip lock bag but I am unsure how it would affect impact from a bullet.

ecos - 20-9-2015 at 02:23

I am sure there are stronger mixtures for AN. search for aluminized ANFO.

Brom - 8-12-2015 at 19:08

Anyone looking for explosive grade low density micro pill Ammonium nitrate for tannerite contact me. Not agricultural grade, no contaminants, just clean small Prills. No need for grinding. Made to use as prills for fuel absorption. Great prices and shipping is not a problem as it is with nitric acid and chems like those. This stuff puts tannerite brand to shame and is complety legal.

Brom - 8-12-2015 at 19:31

I have never had a charge not detonate with .243 and .308 and I'm sure my ar-15 would do it I just prefer using accurate bolt action rifles for that so I can get a good distance between this stuff. It is POWERFUL. It only took 1.9 pounds to do this to this old heavy, large and increadably hard tree. I was impressed

image.jpg - 155kB



image.jpg - 3.4MB

Bert - 9-12-2015 at 08:35


Quote:

What does grinding the ammonium nitrate do exactly? Make the charge denser and harder to set off but stronger? IS there an idea mix ratio for the strongest explosion?


Google is your friend. Lots of information on the need for airspaces to propagate the detonation in this type of mixture.

So many existing AN, ANAL and AMONAL threads. So many "Tannerite" threads. Let's make the job a little easier for the next person who actually tries to search for his answers on such topics... By merging this thread into one of those many, many already existing related threads.

NedsHead - 22-12-2015 at 06:20

Quote: Originally posted by Bert  


Google is your friend. Lots of information on the need for airspaces to propagate the detonation in this type of mixture.


I wish I had come across this comment earlier, I spent quite a bit of time synthesizing approx 240g of ammonium nitrate for the purpose of making Tannerite, and after many hours travel to a remote location I mixed in a zip lock bag the finely powdered ammonium nitrate with 5% 45 micron Aluminium powder and bound the bag of Tannerite as tightly as I could in duct tape and placed it in the fork of a tree,

at the time my reasoning was (more dense = more better) but to my surprise a 69gn hot load fired from my .223 rifle @ approx 100yds achieved nothing except to blow all the Tannerite out the exit hole and spill it all over the ground.

now that I have an idea what went wrong I'll try again but this time I won't pack the Tannerite so bloody tight.

Video of said failure
https://youtu.be/oDydjUr5Bmg

Bert - 22-12-2015 at 08:02

Tannerite uses prills, rather than finely ground ammonium nitrate. These don't pack very tightly- Grinding the AN very fine is counter productive if you are after bullet sensitivity. Tannerite will settle on long standing or if jolted and vibrated in handling, once the stuff gets too compacted, it often fails.

Do some more searching on the use of plastic or glass microballoons/incorporation of air bubbles. Some AN based commercial blasting explosives use these techniques to increase sensitivity.

NedsHead - 22-12-2015 at 15:34

Thanks Bert, not having access to prilled ammonium nitrate means I have to synth my own and I end up with a mix of coarse (easily broken) and fine ammonium nitrate, at that time I thought it would be better to grind it all to the same consistency. Thanks for your advice,

I'll research my options of what I can add to my nitrate to incorporate air into the mix.

NedsHead

Bert - 22-12-2015 at 19:27

If you are interested in reactive targets, this link may be of interest:

http://www.boomershoot.org/general/reactive.htm

NedsHead - 22-12-2015 at 22:02

Awesome, I have it bookmarked to read in my spare time later tonight,

cheers

Bert - 23-12-2015 at 12:24

It seems that the more people buy and use these reactive target mixtures, the more really bad ideas about what to do with them occur to the "hard of thinking". The bad PR fallout from the resulting deaths, injuries, property damages and pissed off neighbors affects others in the EM and weapons related hobbies.

I wanted to place an explosives magazine in the same county where the idiot felon (barred from owning/using firearms) shot a huge charge in a dump truck box with a .50 BMG rifle. And set off the seismic alarms at the nearby nuclear power plant...

This happened right before a township review for conditional use permit and zoning for our business. It had NO relationship to what we wanted to do, but all the locals had their panties twisted in a knot over the thought of explosives being in their area. It definitely poisoned the atmosphere, and we ended up doing our business in a different county. (Same township had multiple silos and storage sheds full of agricultural AN, but farmers understand THAT!)

https://newrepublic.com/article/126232/gun-cultures-dazzling...

NedsHead - 15-2-2016 at 02:03

I had some time to revisit Tannerite on the weekend and made some 100g batches, this time I left it loose in a container and it readily detonated when hit with a 69gn bullet from my .223 Sako https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOWU6nQiPqc. The 100g of Tannerite disintegrated the house brick and bucket I placed it on, very impressive stuff

James Ikanov - 16-2-2016 at 20:25

I'm rather curious about this, and it's closely related, so quick question.

Wiki suggests that ammonal ranges from 95:5 (AN/Al) to 99:1 (AN/Al), and that more Aluminum is more sensitivity, and that the 99:1 mixture is "more sensitive than C-4 or TNT". This is however, rather vague. Is there an index point or comparable compound someone could give for how sensitive such materials really are?

Detonationology - 16-2-2016 at 21:29

TNT and C-4 are not explosive to the touch of a match, meaning that detonation is only possible when a blasting cap is used to begin the initial propagation wave that causes the compound detonation chain reaction to begin. AN is very known for its sensitivity, ESPECIALLY when contaminated. Nitrated compounds tend to be much more resilient at higher temperatures compared to AN, which becomes dangerously unstable to the point of self-oxidation, meaning it acts as both the fuel and the oxidizer.

You can hypothetically burn logs of RDX, TNT, ETN, nitrocellulose, etc. all day long over a campfire, and will not explode unless an initial propagation wave is applied, which may require less energy at elevated temperatures. In the case of tannerite, the initial propagation wave is generated by a high velocity bullet.

Blasting gelatin is a mixture of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin. When ignited with an ordinary flame, the mixture burns very rapidly and violently-- only a deflagration.
When a blasting cap is used to generate the initial propagation wave in blasting gelatin, the mixture detonates at ~8000m/s.

[Edited on 2-17-2016 by Detonationology]

NedsHead - 17-2-2016 at 01:19

For anybody interested here is some better footage of the Tannerite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln_KWL5cSaI

Hennig Brand - 17-2-2016 at 11:29

Quote: Originally posted by Detonationology  
TNT and C-4 are not explosive to the touch of a match, meaning that detonation is only possible when a blasting cap is used to begin the initial propagation wave that causes the compound detonation chain reaction to begin. AN is very known for its sensitivity, ESPECIALLY when contaminated. Nitrated compounds tend to be much more resilient at higher temperatures compared to AN, which becomes dangerously unstable to the point of self-oxidation, meaning it acts as both the fuel and the oxidizer.

You can hypothetically burn logs of RDX, TNT, ETN, nitrocellulose, etc. all day long over a campfire, and will not explode unless an initial propagation wave is applied, which may require less energy at elevated temperatures. In the case of tannerite, the initial propagation wave is generated by a high velocity bullet.

Blasting gelatin is a mixture of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin. When ignited with an ordinary flame, the mixture burns very rapidly and violently-- only a deflagration.
When a blasting cap is used to generate the initial propagation wave in blasting gelatin, the mixture detonates at ~8000m/s.

[Edited on 2-17-2016 by Detonationology]


The logs of ETN or NC (especially if highly nitrated NC and in fibrous form) are almost definitely going to explode, high order or not I don't want to be standing nearby when those are thrown on the fire. Any explosion, detonation or not, with anything approaching large quantities of these materials would be very bad for anyone or anything else delicate close by.

Local overheating with confinement could make deflagration possible with RDX and possibly TNT as well. TNT is likely the safest and least likely to respond in this respect, except for the toxic fumes you might be fine. ;) A log of either of these tossed on a hot bed of coals could possibly provide the localized heating and confinement necessary for a deflagration.

Not my idea of a relaxing camping trip! ;)


Quote: Originally posted by James Ikanov  
I'm rather curious about this, and it's closely related, so quick question.

Wiki suggests that ammonal ranges from 95:5 (AN/Al) to 99:1 (AN/Al), and that more Aluminum is more sensitivity, and that the 99:1 mixture is "more sensitive than C-4 or TNT". This is however, rather vague. Is there an index point or comparable compound someone could give for how sensitive such materials really are?


Not sure I know how to give you a perfect answer, but I can give you a couple bits of information. C-4 and TNT are both military explosives and as such they are specifically chosen to be resistant to the impact from a bullet (shockwave from a super sonic rifle bullet). AN/Al on the other hand is much more sensitive to initiation from shock and at least some of its mixtures can be easily set of by rifle bullet. BTW, C-4 and TNT also require much more powerful blasting caps as well, for the same reason.


[Edited on 17-2-2016 by Hennig Brand]

Detonationology - 17-2-2016 at 13:32

Quote: Originally posted by Hennig Brand  
Not sure I know how to give you a perfect answer, but I can give you a couple bits of information. C-4 and TNT are both military explosives and as such they are specifically chosen to be resistant to the impact from a bullet (shockwave from a super sonic rifle bullet). AN/Al on the other hand is much more sensitive to initiation from shock and at least some of its mixtures can be easily set of by rifle bullet. BTW, C-4 and TNT also require much more powerful blasting caps as well, for the same reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUFSR2zTo7c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQzil8fHEVM

[Edited on 2-17-2016 by Detonationology]

James Ikanov - 17-2-2016 at 19:53

I think my question has been misunderstood, perhaps due to poor phrasing, but thank you for the informative responses. I was more asking along the lines of what the more sensitive mixtures could be compared to in terms of another explosive of similar sensitivity, or in other words, what might be comparable to a 95:5 mixture?

Bert - 18-2-2016 at 06:58

Drop hammer, friction shoe, Lead block test... Not published for Tannerite, AFAIK. It shoots at a very low velocity, but is also more sensitive to impact than any military or most commercial explosives I know of.

Go do some tests? Science!

Hennig Brand - 18-2-2016 at 08:25

Quote: Originally posted by Detonationology  
Quote: Originally posted by Hennig Brand  
Not sure I know how to give you a perfect answer, but I can give you a couple bits of information. C-4 and TNT are both military explosives and as such they are specifically chosen to be resistant to the impact from a bullet (shockwave from a super sonic rifle bullet). AN/Al on the other hand is much more sensitive to initiation from shock and at least some of its mixtures can be easily set of by rifle bullet. BTW, C-4 and TNT also require much more powerful blasting caps as well, for the same reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUFSR2zTo7c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQzil8fHEVM

[Edited on 2-17-2016 by Detonationology]


Of the four explosives you mentioned RDX and TNT are the safest to burn, from what I have seen and read. However, the video you linked to shows C-4 being burned, not pure RDX, which is completely different. While I think you are probably right about TNT being nearly impossible to detonate by burning in the open, in that video some hot coals were simply set on top of a pile of loose TNT which would not provide anywhere near the localized heating or confinement of a log of TNT being placed on top of a hot bed of coals. There would be much more confinement again if logs of wood, also on the bed of coals, were up against the explosive. Heat rises, and so does temperature if the heat is not allowed to dissipate freely!

BTW, I think you quoted the wrong part of my post, but I know what you meant.


[Edited on 18-2-2016 by Hennig Brand]

Detonationology - 18-2-2016 at 08:49

C-4 is 91% RDX... It couldn't possible be that much different than pure RDX.

Hennig Brand - 18-2-2016 at 14:51

The old fashioned Kieselgur (diatomaceous earth) dynamite was 75% NG and 25% DE and it could be freely burned too apparently. Pure NG could be burned as well, but if it was heated or burned with much confinement, boom...if I recall correctly. Sobrero apparently heated a couple drops in an open test tube and the detonation sent glass fragments into his face which were still surfacing months later.

Normally diluting an energetic material makes it less sensitive. Suitable desensitizers can do a lot even in small quantities. I know the plastic binder in C-4 makes it much less sensitive to impact, and it would sure restrict flame propagation as well. Also if the 9% is all extra fuel, that in itself could definitely effect/reduce the rate and intensity of combustion. Yeah, as energetics go, RDX and TNT both seem to be fairly safe materials to burn. ETN and NC, on the other hand, not so much. I think pure RDX can be made to deflagrate, with some localized heating and some confinement, but I don't know enough about it to quantify the risk really. I assume it is fairly low.

Hennig Brand - 19-2-2016 at 08:50

Quote: Originally posted by Bert  
Drop hammer, friction shoe, Lead block test... Not published for Tannerite, AFAIK. It shoots at a very low velocity, but is also more sensitive to impact than any military or most commercial explosives I know of.

Go do some tests? Science!


Bert, that should keep someone, or more than one someone, out of trouble for a while! ;)

It's pretty funny actually when one stops to think a little more. I actually just started thinking about it a little and realized what a messy problem it is. There are so many variables affecting sensitivity, and compared to a molecular explosive with known purity, etc, it just isn't a very refined and consistent product either (especially the homemade stuff probably). Particle size, particle shape, particle density, bulk density, moisture content, temperature, composition, sensitizers, etc, etc, etc. It just isn't as critical either! I think I would be happy with knowing what few variables must be kept in what general range to keep the targets bullet sensitive, which I think is what is mostly done in practice.

Bert - 21-2-2016 at 13:30

Quote: Originally posted by Detonationology  
C-4 is 91% RDX... It couldn't possible be that much different than pure RDX.


The DOT disagrees strongly with you on that opinion. While the material worked up as a plastic explosive, PBX or other similarly diluted product is shippable when properly marked, placarded & etc., the dry, powdered pure chemical is forbidden in transport. It may be transported in bulk on public roads only if wetted with a specified % of water (15% by mass).

Similar rules apply for bulk HMX and PETN. The DOT doesn't pull these rules out of their ass, they write them up after performing some testing. Usually that testing and rule development comes AFTER a major incident and loss...

[Edited on 21-2-2016 by Bert]

MineMan - 21-2-2016 at 19:14

Good point Bert!

Kind of random... but I have found that about 5% Ethelyne Glycol complements tannerite quite well. Because at 2-5% aluminum it is not close to OB. Lets be honest... who wants to use 15% aluminum powder to make it OB?

Bert - 23-2-2016 at 09:32

Prilled ammonium nitrate mixed with cheap Walmart ethylene glycol antifreeze and a bit of Potassium chlorate is a far cheaper bullet sensitive target mixture than Tannerite, or home made ammonal mixtures using expensive pyro grade Aluminum... See the boomershoot.org site for full details of the mixtures development.

Joe Huffman and friends use multiple TONS of this mix, as long as you don't store it, it seems quite well mannered. There have been several incidents of the mix spontaneously igniting when spilled from failed targets in the field and allowed to sit in weather and sunlight for a week or so, but storage is not supposed to be done by people without a license anyhow.

hcb - 7-3-2016 at 15:54

Quote: Originally posted by MineMan  
Good point Bert!

Kind of random... but I have found that about 5% Ethelyne Glycol complements tannerite quite well. Because at 2-5% aluminum it is not close to OB. Lets be honest... who wants to use 15% aluminum powder to make it OB?


Hello. Can you please tell me what "OB" means? I've been mixing my own ANAl targets and came here to learn more. Ethylene glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze, correct? Is that the source you use?

The OP of this thread asked, as I recall, what Tannerite contains. That was years ago, if I'm on the right thread (I've been in and out of so many threads so please forgive me if I'm on the wrong one). I followed the information I found on Wikipedia and corroborated elsewhere and mixed 95% Amonnium Nitrate with 5% aluminum powder purchased commercially in 5 micron size, ratio by weight, and got a very nice boom out of a 1# target. But I will say the amount of Al powder seemed noticeably more than what came I my Sonic Boom brand targets and what I saw in the brand name Tannerite targets.l. I got AN from a fertilizer supplier for $10 for a 5 gallon bucket full. I did not process it as I've seen some suggest (blender to reduce particle size; call me a sissy but blending a chemical which can explode on its own (think Texas City I think it was) scares me). FWIW.

Thank you.

Edit: I should add that I placed my homemade ANAl mix into a 16.9 ounce (half liter) plastic bottle and shot it from 100 yards with a Ruger Mini 14 and .223 FMJ 55 gr which I've clocked at around 3,100 FPS.

--HC

[Edited on 3-8-2016 by hcb]

Metacelsus - 7-3-2016 at 18:47

OB refers to oxygen balance.

feacetech - 9-3-2016 at 14:45

87.5% AN
10% Icing Sugar
2.5% Al
works quite well

also AN from CAN fertiliser if you live somewhere where AN is hard to obtain (NZ)

CAN
boiling water
Stir and settle
Decant liquor and boil off water until temp is 160°C (this has something to do with optimal crystal structure)
Allow to cool and crystallise.
Break up and roughly grind with mortar and pestle
Dry in 100°C fan forced oven or just lay in sun.

Hennig Brand - 10-3-2016 at 09:23

Quote: Originally posted by feacetech  

Decant liquor and boil off water until temp is 160°C (this has something to do with optimal crystal structure)
Allow to cool and crystallise.
Break up and roughly grind with mortar and pestle
Dry in 100°C fan forced oven or just lay in sun.


The ammonium nitrate solution will supersaturate making further water removal next to impossible. I never knew, or figured out, an exact temperature but when recrystallizing AN I would watch until supersaturation occured then would allow the solution to cool a few tens of degrees Celsius or so which would cause the solution to set up as a damp solid. I may have agitated/stirred a bit to get crystallization to commence (it has been a while). The damp AN then could be easily dried as you say. I used a temperature of 100-120C or so in the oven to dry the AN.


[Edited on 10-3-2016 by Hennig Brand]

Hennig Brand - 17-3-2016 at 11:56

I think I should explain how I was dehydrating the AN solution, because I think it was perhaps a special case. I was using an oven, with temperatures ranging from 100C to 150C and maybe even higher on some occasions. The AN solution was placed in a large Pyrex tray and put in the oven. A large portion of the water was always able to be removed (the solution was not too much below saturated at room temperature to start with). At some point a skin/skim of AN would repeatedly start forming and disappearing on the surface of the AN solution. It was at this point, or a little while after, that even with very extended times in the oven very little more water seemed to be removed. Removing from the oven and allowing the temperature to lower a bit, and possibly a little agitation as well, caused a damp solid to form. It could then be put back in the oven and the AN dried to completion.


My current theory:

When the AN crystallizes it releases heat (exothermic), but it also cools first at the surface (evaporative cooling mostly) lowering the solubility there and forming the skin and preventing further water removal. The skin loses heat to the solution and a little due to evaporation of a little water from its surface and also a little to the air in the oven (convection, radiation). The now more highly heated solution next to/below the skin has more solvent strength at this point and pulls the crystallized AN skin back into solution, which this time absorbs heat (endothermic) which helps evaporative cooling cool the surface of the solution and once again forces the AN skin out of solution preventing water evaporation. It is funny to watch this process repeating over and over again in the oven, with very little water removal.

I remember using a pot on a hotplate, years ago, to remove water from an AN solution and IIRC it did boil down, but it was kind of a splattering mess to deal with in the process IIRC. How much heat per unit time that is delivered to the AN solution is definitely a factor.


Edit:

Found some good information. Funny how the seemingly simple things can get complicated.

The following table was taken from the attached pdf:

Crystallization Temperatures and Boiling Points of AN Solutions

AMMONIUM NITRATE (%)............80 82.5 85 87.5 90 92.5 95 98
Crystallisation temperature (°C).....57 65 75 85 96 108 122 146
Atmospheric boiling point (°C).....128 132 136 140 146 155 168 203


Attachment: Ammonium Nitrate Solutions.pdf (713kB)
This file has been downloaded 235 times


Just had another thought, the density of the solid AN formed on the surface is likely greater than the solution below too. It would tend to sink once formed and then go back into solution. Very weird phenomenon all in all!

Yeah,
AN crystal density 1.725 g/cm3 (20 °C) (Wiki)
AN solution density 1.41g/cm3 at 100°C (91% AN) (Above pdf)


[Edited on 18-3-2016 by Hennig Brand]

Microtek - 18-3-2016 at 11:56

Note that in some instances, CAN (calcium ammonium nitrate) denotes the following complex salt: 5Ca(NO3)2•NH4NO3•10H2O, sometimes with a certain amount of CaCO3 added. To find out if this is the case, you can add a solution of a soluble carbonate salt (eg. Na2CO3) to the filtered CAN solution. If there's any Ca2+ in there, it will precipitate as the carbonate.
If this proves to be the case, adding fairly large amounts of ammonium carbonate to the filtered solution (and filtering off the CaCO3) will eventually produce a fairly pure AN solution which can be concentrated as Hennig Brand describes above.

PHILOU Zrealone - 19-3-2016 at 05:48

Solid denser than liquid is the rule...only a few examples exists of solid floating above its molten liquid (water, some metals,...)

Hennig Brand - 19-3-2016 at 10:53

I was aware that water and maybe a couple others were the exception to the rule and that for most changing to the solid phase involved a contraction making it more dense than the liquid phase. It is the whole process of dehydrating a solution of AN and the things observed, in particular how under certain conditions how tenaciously it can hold onto water, that seemed a bit unusual to me, but then again I really don't have experience drying that many different materials.

PHILOU Zrealone - 20-3-2016 at 10:05

Quote: Originally posted by Hennig Brand  
I was aware that water and maybe a couple others were the exception to the rule and that for most changing to the solid phase involved a contraction making it more dense than the liquid phase. It is the whole process of dehydrating a solution of AN and the things observed, in particular how under certain conditions how tenaciously it can hold onto water, that seemed a bit unusual to me, but then again I really don't have experience drying that many different materials.

As you know, I'm particularly interested into density of materials related to detonic and as a good rule density of organic liquids are 0.88-0.92 times lighter than their solid phase.

About drying, it is also a matter of hygroscopicity and quantity...
Just like laundry tumble dryer...to get clothes completely dry, you need good aeration, good heating, moving and not too much overload...without this evaporation condenses into the rest of the clothes and process takes hours and hours.

Rosco Bodine - 25-3-2016 at 06:27

When common sense is not operating, it often, and unsurprisingly may generate business for surgeons and undertakers. Credit to franklyn for this news

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/walton-man-blows-leg-off-...

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2016/03/24/822363...

You will never see it reported but it was very likely the same material in off label use that was used "unsafely" in the Boston Marathon bombing based upon recollection of the color of the smoke signature. I always have doubted the "fireworks" story about the material used in the Boston attack, but never shared my thoughts about this for not wishing to be "inflammatory" knowing that the composition of matter would be improperly credited "blame" instead of the accurate assignment of credit to the evil ideology responsible for such stupidity.


[Edited on 3/25/2016 by Rosco Bodine]

NeonPulse - 25-3-2016 at 16:13

some peoples stupidity amazes me.... when i read this i thought of this thread. too bad it was already posted. But anyway heres what 9MSN had to say about it complete with video.
http://www.9news.com.au/world/2016/03/26/09/25/us-man-blows-...

[Edited on 26-3-2016 by NeonPulse]

XeonTheMGPony - 26-3-2016 at 11:14

Natural selection at work! Shame it wasn't a bit and to the middle. No sympathy to that guy, what idiot sets off an HE in a metal casing and expects to not get hurt when in range!

In Canada you actualy have to pass a safety course befor geting a gun or tannerit, that is part of the reason for it!

MineMan - 7-11-2016 at 08:40

Well,

I have searched wide and far, and I have a question that has been nagging at my thoughts for weeks..

And there is a prize to the wise gentleman who is able to answer it. The prize is knowing that you calmed down the mind of a fellow pyro :D

Tannerite contains .25% by weight zirconium hydride, what is the role, I am guessing it is an excellent sensatizer, better than just pure zirconium???

We know that brand name tannerite can even be detonated by a 17grain pellet (fired from a 22 with a nail gun cartridge) or a 17hmr. From experience and reports tannerite is much more sensitive than plain Al/AN.

Here is my theory: upon heat and pressure ZrH2 breaks into H2 and Zr. Since H2 is such a low density gas this creates pressure, and of course releases tons of energy when it bonds with the O2 from decomposing AN. And the zirconium metal oxidizes and releases energy. But MgH2 would have 8% H2 by weight while ZrH2 only has about 2% H2.... Why the zirconium?

It's role must be important or it would not be in tannerite as it is a expensive and hard to procure chemical.

I feel like there is a gem of knowledge in regards to this that could be applied to other mixtures.

PHILOU Zrealone - 7-11-2016 at 10:57

Quote: Originally posted by MineMan  
Well,

I have searched wide and far, and I have a question that has been nagging at my thoughts for weeks..

And there is a prize to the wise gentleman who is able to answer it. The prize is knowing that you calmed down the mind of a fellow pyro :D

Tannerite contains .25% by weight zirconium hydride, what is the role, I am guessing it is an excellent sensatizer, better than just pure zirconium???

We know that brand name tannerite can even be detonated by a 17grain pellet (fired from a 22 with a nail gun cartridge) or a 17hmr. From experience and reports tannerite is much more sensitive than plain Al/AN.

Here is my theory: upon heat and pressure ZrH2 breaks into H2 and Zr. Since H2 is such a low density gas this creates pressure, and of course releases tons of energy when it bonds with the O2 from decomposing AN. And the zirconium metal oxidizes and releases energy. But MgH2 would have 8% H2 by weight while ZrH2 only has about 2% H2.... Why the zirconium?

It's role must be important or it would not be in tannerite as it is a expensive and hard to procure chemical.

I feel like there is a gem of knowledge in regards to this that could be applied to other mixtures.

Hints:
1°) Zr is already good into flash compositions but too expensive vs Al.
2°) Zr enters some coruscative mixes (very exothermix mixes non gas generating)
3°) Most explanations are to be find into the Wikipédia page about Zr hydrides:
"Zirconium hydrides are soluble in hydrofluoric acid or alcohol; they react violently with water, acids, oxidizers or halogenated compounds."

"ZrH2 is used in powder metallurgy, as a hydrogenation catalyst, and as a reducing agent, vacuum tube getter, and a foaming agent in production of metal foams. Other uses include acting as a fuel in pyrotechnic compositions, namely pyrotechnic initiators."

"Powdered zirconium hydrides are flammable and can ignite and explode if exposed to heat, fire, or sparks. When heated above 300 °C, they decompose releasing hydrogen gas, which is also flammable."

--> Role is simply sensitizer to me.

MineMan - 7-11-2016 at 14:18

Well, I sure would like to do some tests... can't find a suplier though ;)