Sciencemadness Discussion Board

TATP--How sensitive is it?

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mbrown3391 - 28-1-2007 at 09:11

I have a 30 gram batch of acetone peroxide under water and i want to detonate it today, but i need to know exatly how sensitive it is. Is it as sensitive as nitrogen triiodide, or would i be able to dry it and then transfer into something for detonation?

Levi - 28-1-2007 at 09:24

Very VERY sensitive. It may well detonate whenever it feels like it or so they say. Another thread mentions some kid DIED when he attempted to remove it from its container--most likely detonation was caused by friction!

[Edited on 28-1-2007 by Levi]

Bromine - 28-1-2007 at 09:43

AP is really sensitive. Be careful. It is not completly safe under the water like NI3, it can still detonate by smaller shock or friction plus thaht it can detonate any time. Be careful again.

mbrown3391 - 28-1-2007 at 09:46

ive removed it from the water and it is drying outside on a peice of paper towel. the problem is, its cold outside and it might not dry by the end of today. also, how big of an explsion should i expect from 30g of TATP?

quicksilver - 28-1-2007 at 09:48

There is a variety of factors that may determine sensivity. These are the methods of production, conditions in which the material is maintained, and external factors such as exposure to stimulus via temp, etc, etc. Since there is no mention of production variables in your question (I don't know how you made it), - I only know that it's under water, I would have to say that answering that question entails a hell of a lot of generalities. But on the whole it's fucking sensitive and 30 grams popping off in close proxcimity to your face would blind you and if you held it you most likly would loose a finger or three. Energetic peroxides are very, very bad news. HTMD is the only one that was even considered for use and the USBoM found it simply too much of a pain in the ass to continue. However HTMD was a great initiator of secondary explos. TATP is junk IMO and violently unpredictable. It held no interest for me what so ever. I saw a gram explode and was not particularly impressed that it was even so damn powerful. It's just strong enough to do great and permanent harm....once it's chemistry is understood it seems a bit boring as well.
However if you INTERESTED in the chemistry of that material I have few articles related to decomposition, makeup, etc that you might find interesting (as well as a whole lot safer!).

[Edited on 28-1-2007 by quicksilver]

Attachment: TATP-articles.rar (276kB)
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quicksilver - 28-1-2007 at 10:10

Quote:
Originally posted by mbrown3391
ive removed it from the water and it is drying outside on a peice of paper towel. the problem is, its cold outside and it might not dry by the end of today. also, how big of an explsion should i expect from 30g of TATP?

Again without knowing the production variables there is no real gage for that answer in so far as the effecency of the material as an energetic can be hieghtened or lessened, etc.
However think of it as over an ounce of a familiar primary, let's say Hg fulminate (although that's a very unprofessional thing to say but seriously safer:D material) and that's what gonna' pop..... well if it takes a gram of mercury fulminate to make up a #6 cap; you have about 30 #6 caps poping at once.....Jesus, this sounds bad....OK, so 30 caps are going off and if they are out in the open you have a seriously big bang! A really big loud noise. BUT --- if it's contained... then you have a situation that needs addressing as that can be a danger to those around you. So don't contain the material.

:) Also we are getting out of chemistry here and dealing with funtional issues here. I have enormous respect for the moderators here so if you have dynamic query here better to U2U me and we can chat about that there.

[Edited on 28-1-2007 by quicksilver]

mbrown3391 - 28-1-2007 at 10:19

its not contained, i cant think of a way to contain it while its wet and still let it dry. anyway, i made it by combining 34ml of 40% H2O2 with 48ml of 100% acetone. i cooled this mixture down to 0 degrees celcius and slowly added 10 ml of concentrated sulfuric acid. This was kept at 0 degrees celcius for 24 hours. the result was 25 ml of TATP (about 30g, 27% yield). I filtered the mixture and rinsed the TATP with Sodium bicarbonate solution to neutralized the acid, then with distilled water. the filtrate was placed under water over night. this morning i filtered it again and it is now drying outside on a paper towel at 41 degrees Fahrenheit. its been about an hour, and it doesn't look any dryer. i would like to dry it inside, then move it outside, but it sounds like that is too dangerous.

Waffles - 28-1-2007 at 11:24

You people are ridiculous. TATP is not like nitrogen triiodide. 30g unconfined won't get you an explosion, it'll get you a loud detonation and small flash. And someone like you obviously shouldn't be trying to confine it. Just don't scrape it quickly or crush it with some force or let it contact metal. Jeez.

Honestly, what you should do with these 30g that might actually serve your long-term health is take out very small amounts at a time (<0.25g) and MESS AROUND with it just to get an idea of the sensitivity. I mean, considering you're doing this at home and such, you shouldn't assume that this is the most sensitive it will ever be (each production yields different ratios of the monomer, dimer, trimer), but you'll get an idea of what you should and shouldnt do. Just never confine it, even with <0.25g amounts.

quicksilver - 28-1-2007 at 15:12

I beg to differ. An ounce of an explosive perocide is a serious issue and one that the individual should be warned about. The worst thing about perocides is that they are so damn unperdicable. I know of a situation personally that the individaul in question made peroxides for quite a lengthy period. He used the same method, same ratios and considered the resultant material predicable. It must have been this guy's 32nd batch or some damn thing when it didn't do what he expected it to do.
There are quite a few things that are unpredicable and for various reasons. It has been pointed out that Armstrong's is so unpredicitable for reasons of granulation friction (where as N triiodide is actually more predicable just unusually sensitive). The point is that TATP is not a uniquely sensive material as it is unpredictable. Overstating the dangers is doing a service to the individual. The whole of hobby rockety, pyrotechnics, home chemistry, etc, etc is on the edge of being lost due to very "bad press". If overstating a dangerious situation can prevent an accident and the public furor afterward so much the better IMO.

nitro-genes - 28-1-2007 at 15:23

Quote:
Originally posted by iamthewaffler
You people are ridiculous.


Lol, at least he was not talking about stuffing it into a steel container! ;)

30 grams of TCAP will detonate under any circumstances and can kill without a doubt if you hold it in your hand while it goes off. Although deflageration of small amounts may look not very impressive, TACP is NOT harmless or a weak explosive! Compared to TNT it gives leadblock expansions up to 80% or 250 ml...
And don't be fooled by it's sensivity by hitting it with a hammer! It's friction sensitivity is what makes it really dangerous, especially with increasing crystal size. When I used to make TCAP for detonators, I occasionally heard small clicks when I gently scraped off the crystals (wooden spatula) that had been drying on a piece of paper. Just to give you an idea...

It's ability to deflagerate without confinement is deceptive as well, even a single piece of paper loosely put over the TCAP may provide enough confinement to result in detonation...

[Edit] Hehe, quicksilver beat me to it...:P



[Edited on 28-1-2007 by nitro-genes]

Boomer - 29-1-2007 at 00:57

This stuff has killed and maimed before, and not only stupid kids. Experienced chemists have fallen victim, as well as advanced amateurs who used it with care for years. It takes about a gram to loose fingers, and 30g can be lethal if only by blood loss while you are knocked out. Consider your eyes and ear drums gone as well.

As stated, the problem is not impact but friction, plus static electricity. People here and on APC/E+W... had it (or HMTD) detonate when they withdrew a wooden dowel from a cap after pressing, in the sunlight, on the shelf (from incompatibilities), when pouring it from a folded paper (probably static), or when lighting a pea-sized lump in the open air. Nobody died because those were (sub-)gram quantities.

To give you an idea about the danger, I paste some test results in (posted on APC, plus E+W before):


AP sensitivity tests

Drop test: 300g hammer head, falling free on steel anvil. Material not covered.
Friction test: Pestle on mortar, mortar standing on a scale to measure force.
Given are the number of detonations and the number of tests.
Flame test: cigarette and lighter.


Test 1: Completely dry AP (2 weeks at 25C)

1A: 'Normal' crystal size, dried directly from the filter

6cm 5 out of 5
5cm 5 out of 5
4cm 4 out of 5
3cm 3 out of 5
2cm 2 out of 5
1cm 0 out of 5

50N 10 out of 10
40N 10 out of 10
30N 10 out of 10
20N 9 out of 10
10N 4 out of 10
7N 2 out of 10
5N 0 out of 10

1B: Ground to flour-like consistency, clinging to all tools from static

6cm 5 out of 5
5cm 5 out of 5
4cm 5 out of 5
3cm 4 out of 5
2cm 2 out of 5
1cm 0 out of 5

Friction was not tested, the crystals will be crushed anyway.

Both crystal sizes flashed from cigarette and flame with a distinct whoomp. Smallest sample do ever make DDT unconfined was 200mg (pea sized)!
UPDATE 2006: Smallest amount to DDT confined was 3mg in 1.2mm dia brass tube!

Test 2: Nearly dry AP, normal crystal size (pressed between filters in a vice)

6cm 5 out of 5
5cm 4 out of 5
4cm 3 out of 5 (funny: 1 time no bang, only fireball!)
3cm 2 out of 5
2cm 1 out of 5
1cm 0 out of 5

50N 10 out of 10 (sometimes crackling)
40N 10 out of 10 (sometimes crackling)
30N 9 out of 10 (sometimes crackling)
20N 5 out of 10 (2 x crackling)
10N 3 out of 10 (2 x crackling)
7N 0 out of 10

Flashed from cigarette and flame with a distinct whoomp. It was hard to distinguish it from the dry sample.

Test 3: Slightly moist AP, normal crystal size (hand-pressed between filters)

20cm 4 out of 5
15cm 2 out of 5
10cm 1 out of 5
7cm 0 out of 5
5cm 0 out of 5
3cm 0 out of 5
2cm 0 out of 5

50N 10 out of 10 (crackling)
40N 9 out of 10 (crackling)
30N 8 out of 10 (crackling)
20N 5 out of 10 (crackling)
10N 2 out of 10 (crackling)
7N 0 out of 10

Burned from both heat sources with a fast flash, but without the whoomp-sound. Still faster than good (commercial) black powder.

Test 4: Wet AP, normal crystal size (dripping wet!)

75cm 0 out of 5
50cm 0 out of 5
40cm 0 out of 5
30cm 0 out of 5
20cm 0 out of 5
10cm 0 out of 5

50N 10 out of 10 (crackling)
40N 10 out of 10 (crackling)
30N 9 out of 10 (crackling)
20N 6 out of 10 (crackling)
10N 0 out of 10

Did not react to flame until it started to dry out, a cigarette could be put out in it safely.

We learn several things from these tests:

1. The friction sensitivity is hardly reduced by moisture.

2. Crystal size has a much lower influence than we thought. This might be because the crystals were not precipitated in the smaller form, but ground from the bigger crystals of the same batch.

3. Dripping wet AP is safe towards impact, and also towards fire. Towards friction it is only safe if you assume it cannot make DDT if confined (which is probable but not sure).

4. Moist AP is not much safer than dry AP. Even the hand pressed stuff (still crumbly) was more sensitive than NG and MHN, and the heavily pressed sample (more powder-like) was nearly as bad as the dry one.

To sum it up, this shit is too dangerous to use in amounts over some hundred MILLIgrams.

Forget your plan, it would be fucking loud, but not the earth shattering event you dream of. With earplugs, I would not mind standing two steps away from 30g, behind a tree. But I would NOT handle it.

Microtek - 29-1-2007 at 01:20

In my opinion, overstating the danger of a substance is not safer for people in the long run. If that is done on a regular basis, then people will start to get complacent about things that are merely dangerous and only think twice about handling things that are incredibly ultra dangerous. This is seen all the time among lab workers who are routinely handling toxic substances; only those reactants that are labeled as deadly toxins are respected, those that are merely carcinogenic are not.

So I think you should take small amounts as suggested above, but much less than a quarter gram. Start with just a pinch ( ca. 10-50 mg ) and get a feel for the substance. You should still bear in mind that all those other kinds of stimuli might set it off, so don't escalate the charges beyond 0.5 g.
This strategy ( of keeping the charges very small ) has kept me safe for many years, and I highly recommend it.

photoguy - 29-1-2007 at 11:07

TATP is fairly inert when wet. 100 grams of TATP was transported to a local test range on a rocky bumpy road without detonation inside a bunker storage unit. Please remember this material was WET during transportation. When dry, TATP is sensitive to any kind of sudden shock or friction that i can assure you of. You can compress TATP without detonation WHEN IT IS WET using distilled water and plastic tools slowly putting direct downwards pressure on the material. WET TATP is quite hard to ignite and detonate reliably- nor is it reactive to metals in this state. Once the product is dry it will be more stable as the mass of the explosive and compressed crystalline structure will lessen the sensitivity. Still the material is extremely hazardous... I've had years of experience with explosives of different forms. TATP is one of the most sensitive I've seen, but it still doesn't explode by itself unless the conditions promote a detonation- it does NOT explode by itself contrary to popular belief. Nitrogen Tri Iodide is about 100X as sensitive as TATP --- but NG is less sensitive than TATP is- not by a lot -- but still you have to be extremely careful when handling this material.

Compressed TATP can detonate PLX, ANNM, ANFO, ANNMAL, and a host of other explosives. So it can be useful... but as I said before, you need to be so careful and 30 grams is more than enough for any experiment. You definitely DO NOT want to be storing TATP for any length of time.

[Edited on 29-1-2007 by photoguy]

[Edited on 29-1-2007 by photoguy]

nitro-genes - 29-1-2007 at 18:14

With more than 25% water TCAP becomes very insensitive indeed, though compressing sensitive primaries to a higher density it will not reduce sensitivity like it would with secondary explosives. Compressing lead azide for example will have little effect on it's sensitivity and the ability to make DDT upon ignition. In the past I have experimented with molten droplets of TCAP from a double recrystallized sample from acetone. (in the microwave actually, don't burn me for this, it was on a less than 50 mg scale :P) I found that even though the density of the droplets (once it was cooled) was higher than water, it made DDT in much smaller amounts than the loose powder did. Even the smallest droplets detonated by flame without any confinement, showing high brisancy by punching a hole trough the plate is was on. Very strange...(admittedly of no value though)

" it still doesn't explode by itself unless the conditions promote a detonation "

Isn't that true for every explosive? :P Those peroxide bonds are pretty sensitive by themselves, add up the ringstrain of the dimer, which will always be present in your product, and it is obvious that the conditions for TCAP to detonate do not need to be as obvious as mistreating it. UV radiation like on a hot day in summer combined with confinement can be enough, just like the static electricity spark from wearing wool or synthetic clothing. When I'm working with flashpowder, I choose a humid day, deelectrify myself by touching the metal watertap, lock up the cat, and never think about using plastic or metal tools. This may seem paronoid, but static electricity is a an issue in pyrotechnics that is taken very serious. It would be lunacy not to so with something as sensitive and dangerous as TCAP!

TCAP is remarkably stable btw, not remotely comparable to it's cousine HMTD for that matter. The volatility of the compound is what is dangerous, and can be mistaken for decomposition. Recrystallized and stored under a layer of destilled water it remains intact for many years. This is not recommended though, since drying out of the container would mean serious trouble...

[Edited on 30-1-2007 by nitro-genes]

chemoleo - 29-1-2007 at 18:29

As to HMTD, it can be only vouched for.
When prepared by the method in COPAE, it needs a strong hammer strike to get it to set off.
Unconfined, it always deflagrates, it was found that only a thermite-based temperature shock is sufficient to set it off unconfined.
Keep it in acetone at all times, and only dry before use, drying at RT should be fast that way. When in acetone, and exposed to sunlight in a plastic container (polypropylene, which should absorb hard UV), bubbles form nonetheless, but no further problem was observed.
Storage in the dark, for 6 months, under acetone, left the material unchanged, no change in sensitivity or strength could be observed, pressing is no problem in neither the freshly prepared or stored HMTD.
Always work with small amounts (<3-4 g), and always keep it loose.

quicksilver - 30-1-2007 at 07:39

Quote:
Originally posted by nitro-genes
Isn't that true for every explosive? :P Those peroxide bonds are pretty sensitive by themselves, add up the ringstrain of the dimer, which will always be present in your product, and it is obvious that the conditions for TCAP to detonate do not need to be as obvious as mistreating it. UV radiation like on a hot day in summer combined with confinement can be enough, just like the static electricity spark from wearing wool or synthetic clothing. When I'm working with flashpowder, I choose a humid day, deelectrify myself by touching the metal watertap, lock up the cat, and never think about using plastic or metal tools. This may seem paronoid, but static electricity is a an issue in pyrotechnics that is taken very serious. It would be lunacy not to so with something as sensitive and dangerous as TCAP!


You took the words right out of my mouth. I do the exact same thing...I look for conditions to be right: thinking of static & friction continually. It's the unseen shit that will ruin your day.
I think one way to appraoch this is to list the conditions that would promote initiation and then to address them as a conditoned response whenever handleing energetic material.

But to address the question of "overstatment" - You can make an argument on either side of this coin. I understand Microtek's point about complacency and yet I have not seen that with everyone. There is a difference between a lab environment and a home use environment. And people react differently to warnings. My gut tells me that when a question is asked about sensitivity of perocides that the considerate thing to do is to overstate to dangers due to the possiblity of the user having limited experience with same. It COULD be said that lack of overstatement could be framed in a person's mind as understatement. For instance: if encouraged to experiment with it and not speaking to the possibility of stay static popping the whole batch the user may develop a chaviar attitude that "it hasn't happened - so it won't happen". Or that 30 grams is minor league and that it won't do that much if it pops - just flash and burn some hair. My point is that the person in question could misinterperate the resonse that perocides are on the same level as well dextrinated silver azide, etc.
I'm actually the type who doesn't want to see anyone get hurt or make a mess of the hobby publicly. I remember a lot of folks in other places, who, when hearing about an injury, reply with scorn and hostility....I honestly hope that sht doesn't happen - And in so saying, this whole discussion probably served it's purpose to find a middle ground.
Perhaps I am wrong to use the term "overstate"! Perhaps a stern warning about all the injuries suffered would suffice. IIRC perocides lead as the majority of self inflicted hospitalizations from energetic material in both the EU & US.

[Edited on 30-1-2007 by quicksilver]

Boomer - 30-1-2007 at 08:39

You bet that. And I bet that HMX + HNIW are last!

Not to make a one-liner... There is a way of storage apart from the under-water-in-plastic-under-saran-wrap method, which also is accident-free to my knowledge (the fingers fly later, after drying):

Acetone solution, crashed into water before use. Stores for years just like wet crystals, but is even safer (probably undetonable), plus it gives superfine (1) crystals while even under water, they seem to grow with time.

(1) Usually, if spread thinly on paper TATP disappears within 2-3 month at RT. The crashed powder did so in two days (admittedly near the radiator, but still much faster). Another advantage: You cannot *forget* the shit somewhere, then weeks later drop a ciggie on it :P

gregxy - 3-2-2007 at 10:08

Since the diemer is supposed to be what causes the
trouble has anyone ever checked to see
if removing the diemer improves the safety of the TATP.

Maybe just recrystalizing it from acetone. Or some method
of destroying the less stable diemer like disolving in
acetone and heating with acid or base.

Boomer - 5-2-2007 at 03:51

Nonsense.

The trimer is only marginally less sensitive. Those 2cm drop for a 300g hammer equal *3mm* for the standard 2kg hammer. This is about 6-7 times less than nitroglycerine or mercury fulminate at 4cm.

Keeping this in mind, I don't give a fuck whether "Compressed TATP can detonate PLX, ANNM, ANFO, ANNMAL" (photoguy) if I have to use "small amounts (<3-4 g)" (chemoleo) to do this. Rather use 0.1g with a 1g base charge of a much more brisant HE like PETN/MAN/ETN. *If* you have to use it that is, otherwise 25-50mg of an azide or clathrate would be better to get the solid nitric ester going.

BTW I doubt you managed to det ANFO with TATP alone. Oh sorry, I forgot you used 200 gram for a cap :P

quicksilver - 5-2-2007 at 08:58

The reason that HMTD was experiemented with at all was that IT was a viable initatior: but not TATP. The need for more than a gram-level of material has been one of the factors amongst many that kept it from even making it into the USBoM's discussion of alternatives to Hg Fulminate. Has single gram levels initiated secondaries? On occation it has, but not consistently. That lack of consistency, relaibility, & predicability has made that material simply a field expedient explosive since it's isolation. In fact, peroxides have generally been viewed as a lab hazard for the most part: a by-product of improper storage.
HMTD on the other hand has resulted in accidents from unpredictable things like the withdrawl of a tamping rod from a cap body. But if powdered Al was used as a dry lubricant that may have been avioded...no it was the static, not the friction...no, it was the crushing of crystaline material built up on the tamp rod.... Good Lord, that's too damn much for me.
Studying it (TATP, etc) from a "paper perspective" is one thing but I can't deny the stats that place it on the top of listed materials to aviod. Too many people who have a great degree of experience with energetic material have been hurt by it.
People make it, work with it time after time and believe that THEY won't have an accident until they do. Then you never hear from them again. After being blinded, loosing fingers, etc who wants to hear: "I told you so"?
There are a Hell of a lot of people who have worked with energetic materials on this board. Most have very strong opinions about what and how to work with these same materials. Unfortunatly the commonality is the concept of "it hasn't happened, so it won't happen". That's exactly why it only makes sense to work with any energetic material on the gram level or below.
Strong opinions generally come from a powerful experience with something {pun intened}. :)


A guy once was very candid with me. He told me of loosing sight in an eye from an experiment gone bad. I really appriecied his honesty with me. But he also said he never wanted to "re-live" that same tragidy and I can respect that. I also knew a guy with no thumb and fore finger...HE did tell me the whole sorry affair and it was bad.
He had some TATP in a plastic film can and opened the lid. That's all. I asked if it was dry, I asked if he made sure the rim was clean, bla, bla, bla.... But the bottom line was what happened when he got hurt. We are talking about 20 grams IIRC. The blast was so loud that he got deaf for a long time and he couldn't drive from the injury. but he said he was bleeding like a fountain and HE KNEW he lost his thumb. He wrapped the hand up in a towel and had to call 911. he made up a story about picking up a "piece of metal that exploded". That was a big mistake. The ambulance people were OK but at the hospital, the ER doc thought that there might be "more" of whatever hurt this guy floating around and naturally called the sherriff. The sherriff then called the feds because he wasn't going to go hunt around for something that could hurt HIM like that! Well you can imagine what happened next!
I'll keep this guy's confidentiality and leave it right there...but you get the idea. Getting hurt is bad enough! But getting in deep Doo-Doo on top of THAT is actual torture.....you can't think because you hurt so bad, Remember you have exposed nerves, broken bones, torn tissue....you can't hear, you can't plan to minimize the problems....Makes BP rockets seem like a good idea to me.



[Edited on 5-2-2007 by quicksilver]

chemoleo - 5-2-2007 at 16:50

It may have been asked before, but have any accidents recorded with HMTD, due to friction, sublimation, even pressing (other than copper metal onto it with excessive grinding/shear/friction force), all of the above which are a common problem with TCAP?
But yeah, H. definitely requires some kind of booster, almost regardless the secondary involved.

nitro-genes - 6-2-2007 at 02:46

Most of the accidents I heard of involving HMTD were related to incompatibilities with other compounds, mostly binders and even inert ones like polyisobutylene or polybutylene. My batches of HMTD were not stable at all btw, and deteriorated over the cause of several months when stored under water, maybe also an impurity issue. I would say that HMTD is slightly less impact sensitive compared to TCAP, but the friction sensitivity is about the same...

A more safe possibilty could be derived from the old Callery patents mentioned by Rosco. They probably involve a HMTD/AN or HMTD/Methylamine nitrate complex salt which could be usefull as a more stable, less sensitive and probably also more energetic basecharge compared to HMTD alone...

It was mentioned briefly over here:

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=6317

The synthesis could be as simple as heating a conc. hexamine solution together with a large excess of AN untill most of the ammonia smell is gone, after which the hydrogen peroxide is added. Or basically a HMTD synth with methylamine nitrate or AN added. I've seen some people mention a large difference in their batches of HMTD taken after shorter and longer reaction times and I think this complex salt formation may be the cause of this, since the concentration of complexing compounds like methylaminenitrates and ammonium nitrate from hydrolysis/oxidation of the hexamine in acidic environment will become higher in time. Evidence of the formation of a doublesalt should be easily confirmed by weighing the product and calculate the yield from hexamine compared to pure HMTD, assuming the reaction is just as efficient...

[Edited on 6-2-2007 by nitro-genes]

pyromainiac420 - 8-2-2007 at 20:36

ok well concidering you seem amature WHY THE HELL DID YOU MAKE 30G my first time a made like a couple grams then started making 25 g ive never sythesized more that about 25-30 g (more likly 25) and mine was trimeric so it was safe i found it quiet stable but jesus dont make so much and you'll probably be fien just dont press it with your fingers use somthing else

quicksilver - 9-2-2007 at 06:17

Several years back (quite a few) there was a thread in rec.pyrotechnics on usenet that was based on safety. It was a damn long thread and became an "I had this accident once" type of thread. That's where I heard of the tamping of HMTD leading to a pop in the guy's proxcimity. I don't believe that he got hurt that badly but it scared him and everyone started in on the perocides, etc.
rec.ptrotecnics and alt.eng.explosives have some of that stuff if you get archives that are about 10 yrs old.

nitro-genes - 9-2-2007 at 07:19

Another thread about HMTD in which several incidents occured with experienced people:

http://yarchive.net/explosives/hmtd.html

Simply pressing HMTD into blasting caps can lead to a spontaneous detonation. Note that using other metal tubing than aluminium, like copper, reduces the force needed for accidental detonation considerably, indicating the sensitivity of HMTD to catalysing impurities even when completely dry...

The iniating ability of HMTD is phenominal though, equal or even better than lead azide or DDNP. The statement that HMTD is less powerfull than TATP is probably derived from comparing detonation velocity figures which mention 5300 m/s for TATP at near crystal density (1.2 g/cc) and only 4800 m/s for HMTD at a density of 1.0 g/cc. The crystal density of HMTD however is 1.57, much higher than TATP, with theoretical detonation velocities far exceeding TATP. This potential can never be realized though because there is a certain pressing force above which HMTD will cetainly detonate. This is where I think the HMTD/AN or HMTD/MAN double salt would have a significant advantage. The sensitivity should be examined in detail before such an attempt should be made of course. I don't think many members are enthusiastic about experimenting with organic peroxides, though someone might have clue about the behaviour and performance of such a hypothetical doublesalt...:P

[Edited on 9-2-2007 by nitro-genes]

Rosco Bodine - 9-2-2007 at 08:55

Quote:
Originally posted by nitro-genes
The initiating ability of HMTD is phenominal though, equal or even better than lead azide or DDNP.


Maybe that is what the books say .....however ....

The literature would have you believe some things which
your own real world experiments will never seem to bear out as being true , and in my experience this is sure one of those
occasions where an unreenforced detonator is the
loading arrangement , lead azide is at least three times more efficient an initiator than HMTD . There is simply no favorable comparison .

nitro-genes - 9-2-2007 at 10:20

In a reenforced detonator I've seen 0.02 grams min. for PETN and 0.03 grams for tetryl, so that is the about the same for dext. LA...

You're talking about an unreenforced detonator. I think that is no comparison since lead azide or silveracetylide/nitrate will make DDT in much smaller amounts unconfined than HMTD. If you would want to compare HMTD against azides in an unreenforced detonator you should prime the HMTD with the tiniest amount of a fast accelerating primary like LA or SA to get them going at full speed right away. It is like comparing a runner with a car, the runner will accelerate much faster than the car in the beginning, even though the potential of the car is much higher. IIRC, MF primed with a little LA will actually outperform LA alone, while fuse initiated MF will perform much less than LA in small quantities. MF in larger quantities will also perform better than LA in the same quantaties because it has the time to fully accelerate, that is why LA is no good for initiating insensitive secondary explosives. HMTD is very good at this though, with its only limitations beeing too sensitive to be safe and impossible to press to higher densities. Amateurs that use large amounts of HMTD alone in their blasting caps and have no rescources to other basecharges would be better off with the double salt as a base charge, which could be possibly pressed to higher densities and be more energetic at the same time. Since HMTD alone doesn't make DDT easily it is more than likely the double salt would require a small amount of

[Edited on 9-2-2007 by nitro-genes]

Rosco Bodine - 9-2-2007 at 10:48

Following that same convoluted logic ,
then Lead Styphnate is a wonderful initiator even better than mercury fulminate , since lead styphnate accellerated by lead azide will do the same thing even better than mercury fulminate .

The point of practical comparison is what the initiator material does when acting alone . If it is to be commended for its value in a mixture , then qualify its
usefulness in proper context when describing how great it supposedly is in its performance , and how it is only useful in that qualified sense .

Sickman - 9-2-2007 at 11:20

Yep! Once again we're back to the reality that the literature of explosives doesn't usually represent reality in a fair and accurate way.

Alot of literature will point out several primary explosives such as DDNP, lead styphnate and HMTD and say they have outstanding properties as initiators and puts them on the same level as the azides, but it's just not so.

I have been trying to understand how all this incorrect, puffed up information has gotten into the literature. My present theory is that many books we may read on explosives are just compiliations by authors who have no real experiance or first hand knowledge of the explosives they are writing about. I'm not saying the authors don't ever get anything right. I'm just saying for example that an author who doesn't know anything about DDNP and has no first hand experiance with it will go to other literature references such as patents. Now the problem with patents is almost every one I've ever read sounds like a sales pitch and that's exactly what they are most of the time. Trying to present new explosive compositions and new primaries that can "replace lead azide and mercury fulminate in detonators."

So they flower it up and make their "invention" sound like the best thing to ever happen and that it is the ultimate cure to all the previous problems. Well it often times isn't true. Like Rosco said, the information contained in patents and other literature must be tested and found accurate that way before we allow ourselves to accept it as true.

Let me make it clear that in my own experiance, TATP does not compare favorably to lead azide, particulary the azo-clathrate of lead azide with lead nitrate and lead picrate. They are a total mismatch for power, sensitivity in the dry material, initiatory effeciancy, reaction to elevated temperatures, and storage stability.

The reason I think peroxides, mostly TATP and HMTD get any attention at all is because their main precursors are cheap and OTC, and the process of preparing those peroxide explosives is extremely simple compared to the preparation of other primaries or other precursors to other primaries.

For example azides and particulary IMO the azo-clathrates, which Rosco was good enough to bring to the table, will probably look further from reach to the average member here, because unlike hydrogen peroxide, sodium azide is not readily available OTC. In fact I think the only source of it that can be purchased OTC is auto airbags.

In my opinion the peroxides and their preparation should be completely abandoned and more research, and posting that research in detail, should be done for the OTC production of sodium azide in order to give everyone a fair alternative to the peroxides.

Rosco has begun this work by posting a detailed process for the production of hydrazine sulfate, which he came accross in The Hive and also added in many of his own refinements to the process determined by a series of experiments done by him in order to optimize the process.

In that posting Rosco said the following:

"Full details for the synthesis of sodium azide will be provided in a later communication. This digression simply describes why the improved synthesis of the hydrazine sulfate is of special interest for producing the hydrazine sulfate in better crystalline form by a method which improves its usefulness particularly as a precursor material for OTC sodium azide, or when the purpose will be to freebase the hydrazine and extract it with methanol for any other use."

I'm looking forward to Rosco keeping his word and posting the "Full details for the synthesis of sodium azide."

Now that we know from Rosco how to produce Sodium sulfate from completly OTC materials the next step is to learn how to produce Methanolic Hydrazine Hydrate (hydrazine hydrate dissolved in methanol) and also how to produce Isopropyl nitrite. These are the two main precursors for a method of producing a very pure sodium azide.

Rosco,

You have recently expressed to me that:

"It seems strange to me that after posting the information about the clathrates that nobody other than microtek has even mentioned anything about experiments even being done towards learning anything further about those materials."

I think that many members are interested in the azo-clathrates that you described to us, but I think that they feel they are out of reach because the "full details" for the OTC production of sodium azide have not come out in a user friendly form.

Also there is perhaps, a fear of the toxicity of the materials and a feeling like proper lab equiptment for the production may not be available?

If you feel like the process is dangerous, please explain which points of the process are dangerous and what is the source of that danger and obviously how it can be handled and avoided.

nitro-genes - 9-2-2007 at 14:10

Quote:
Originally posted by Rosco Bodine
Following that same convoluted logic ,
then Lead Styphnate is a wonderful initiator even better than mercury fulminate , since lead styphnate accellerated by lead azide will do the same thing even better than mercury fulminate .


Yup! :) You're absolutely right!

Cited from a copy of an army technical manual about military explosives:

"When subjected to the sand test with ignition by
a black powder fuse, the brisance of normal lead
styphnate (10.5 grams of sand crushed) is much less
than that of lead azide (16.7 grams of sand crushed).
However, when initiated with a small charge of mercury
fulminate or lead azide, the brisance (24 grams of sand
crushed) is greater than that of lead azide or mercury
fulminate"

Lead styphnate can probably LVD easily or become deadpressed (densities as used for lead styphnate are rarely beyond 2.5 g/cc while it's crystal density was something like 4.something) and may not be able to sustain high order detonation from a fuse or a small enough amount of LA to be used in a detonator instead of LA. VoD's of about 5200 m/s are found for lead styphnate though this was found by detonating it with a blasting cap, quite different from lighting it with a fuse!

I wasn't talking about vague patents btw, but scientific literature in which *tests* were conducted to see the initiating ability of HMTD at only 1000 psi towards several secondary HE's. Real tests in the real world (just like the small critical diameter PBX tests :P). These tests concluded that there is little difference between the initiating ability on a weight basis compared to dextrinated LA, and furthermore, that there is only a 20% decrease in initiating ability for an unreenforced detonator compared to an reenforced detonator. My HMTD needed slightly more confinement than TATP, but compressed in a thin cardboard tubing it made DDT reliably from the slightest spit of a fuse. Still despite it's very good initating ability, the dangers of working with this material still stand and I advice everyone still using HMTD to search for an other primary to use...

There are two types of initiating explosives, for sensitive basecharge material, like PETN, tetryl RDX, etc, and for insensitive HE's like TNT or AN based. A good performance with the first group will not garantee a good performance for the others. A good example is the AgNO3*HNO3 double salt. 0.05 grams suffices for PETN in a reenforced detonator, almost as good as dextrinated lead azide, though you can cram as much as you want of it in a steel pipe, I doubt it will be able to set of ANFO. From my own experience, 400-500 mg of pressed HMTD however can reliably initiate kinepack and ammonal types of explosives (!) something that TATP or MF couldn't do, so in this sense it really is a very powerfull initiator. Since all modern blasting caps contain basecharges like PETN or RDX, LA is the primary of choice because of it's combination of low pressure force to achieve high density,very rapid accelleration and high order VoD even when fully compressed. This was the main flaw with DDNP IIRC, it needed much larger pressing force to obtain maximum density and could become deadpressed as well, just as lead styphnate can...

[Edited on 9-2-2007 by nitro-genes]

Rosco Bodine - 9-2-2007 at 14:35

Quote:
Originally posted by Sickman
The reason I think peroxides, mostly TATP and HMTD get any attention at all is because their main precursors are cheap and OTC, and the process of preparing those peroxide explosives is extremely simple compared to the preparation of other primaries or other precursors to other primaries.

For example azides and particulary IMO the azo-clathrates, which Rosco was good enough to bring to the table, will probably look further from reach to the average member here, because unlike hydrogen peroxide, sodium azide is not readily available OTC. In fact I think the only source of it that can be purchased OTC is auto airbags.

In my opinion the peroxides and their preparation should be completely abandoned and more research, and posting that research in detail, should be done for the OTC production of sodium azide in order to give everyone a fair alternative to the peroxides.


Been there , done that .

Getting a bit off topic here ....but here goes anyway ,

Quote:

Rosco has begun this work by posting a detailed process for the production of hydrazine sulfate, which he came accross in The Hive and also added in many of his own refinements to the process determined by a series of experiments done by him in order to optimize the process.


Actually it was Polverone who posted at the hive what
I had written up as a preliminary effort in response to his request for the information . I wrote the synthesis adapted from the Merck patent which was posted at the hive and Rhodium . Then I went beyond that with an improved
method based on a series of experiments aimed at optimizing the synthesis .

Quote:

In that posting Rosco said the following:

"Full details for the synthesis of sodium azide will be provided in a later communication. This digression simply describes why the improved synthesis of the hydrazine sulfate is of special interest for producing the hydrazine sulfate in better crystalline form by a method which improves its usefulness particularly as a precursor material for OTC sodium azide, or when the purpose will be to freebase the hydrazine and extract it with methanol for any other use."

I'm looking forward to Rosco keeping his word and posting the "Full details for the synthesis of sodium azide."

Now that we know from Rosco how to produce Sodium sulfate from completly OTC materials the next step is to learn how to produce Methanolic Hydrazine Hydrate (hydrazine hydrate dissolved in methanol) and also how to produce Isopropyl nitrite. These are the two main precursors for a method of producing a very pure sodium azide.

Rosco,

You have recently expressed to me that:

"It seems strange to me that after posting the information about the clathrates that nobody other than microtek has even mentioned anything about experiments even being done towards learning anything further about those materials."

I think that many members are interested in the azo-clathrates that you described to us, but I think that they feel they are out of reach because the "full details" for the OTC production of sodium azide have not come out in a user friendly form.

Also there is perhaps, a fear of the toxicity of the materials and a feeling like proper lab equiptment for the production may not be available?

If you feel like the process is dangerous, please explain which points of the process are dangerous and what is the source of that danger and obviously how it can be handled and avoided.



The freebasing of hydrazine has already been discussed in great detail in the sticky hydrazine thread and the sodium azide thread . I don't understand how that falls short of "full details" being disclosed ..except that I did not personally write up a formal step by step . The information is already there in portions in different threads .

Search and you will find .

There is also a going beyond the methods I described , with the hydrogen peroxide oxidation of hydrazine sulfate .....which although less efficient is certainly simple .
So there is a way of using hydrogen peroxide to
get to sodium azide although it is much more technically
complicated than making AP .

And also there is microteks work on
freebasing hydrazine hydrate into isopropanol .

Certainly anyone wanting to synthesize sodium azide is not being kept from it by my not writing a 123 step by step .

And there already being available at least three good lab synthetic routes to sodium azide , aside from airbag salvage and the ordered chemical sources as well .....

I simply don't see that any lack of interest in different
azo-clathrates is due to some unavailability of sodium azide .

As for the dangers , that's been covered also .
Maybe I changed my mind about writing a 123 step by step
just because of what is going on here right now ,
and what the cause of that need for clarification speaks to
is a lack of study and skills and knowledge that makes me uncomfortable as handing the keys to the car to a 12 year old .....and saying " now be careful " .

If that reserve has discredited me ...well fine , sue me :D

But I am still going to leave the unwritten " recipe "
where it is . A variation on microteks method is more
technically simple and attainable anyway ....and this is old news .

nitro-genes - 9-2-2007 at 14:56

One of the things that made me hesitant in making the azoclathrates was the incorporation of a fair amount of lead picrate. Lead picrate alone is pretty sensitive to static, friction and shock, more so in any case than LA alone and is described in literature as a dangerous and unpredicatble compound. Although I must admit this is from literature only since I've no experience with it myself. :)
Never seen any good sensitivity test concerning the clathrates, so for many people it may be a fair choice to stay with the well documented and thoroughly described LA instead of a relatively new and undescribed product from a patent. (From which you say yourself can contain a lot of bogus information. :D)

[Edited on 9-2-2007 by nitro-genes]

Rosco Bodine - 9-2-2007 at 23:54

Quote:
Originally posted by nitro-genes
One of the things that made me hesitant in making the azoclathrates was the incorporation of a fair amount of lead picrate. Lead picrate alone is pretty sensitive to static, friction and shock, more so in any case than LA alone and is described in literature as a dangerous and unpredicatble compound. Although I must admit this is from literature only since I've no experience with it myself. :)


I do have some experience with it and the literature from
where you got that information is wrong .

Quote:

Never seen any good sensitivity test concerning the clathrates, so for many people it may be a fair choice to stay with the well documented and thoroughly described LA instead of a relatively new and undescribed product from a patent. (From which you say yourself can contain a lot of bogus information. :D)


Having good information directly from experiments
is better than unconfirmed information from literature references .

And when the process or the product are not an exact duplicate of what is somewhere already described in the
literature , then it is all purely experimental anyway ,
and you become the authoritative source for your own information .

What you know for sure beats the hell out of what you have heard , thought , or read .

quicksilver - 10-2-2007 at 06:21

Quote:
Originally posted by Sickman

The reason I think peroxides, mostly TATP and HMTD get any attention at all is because their main precursors are cheap and OTC, and the process of preparing those peroxide explosives is extremely simple compared to the preparation of other primaries or other precursors to other primaries.


That's right on the money IMO. I also think it's a shame because the precursors needed for interesting experiments are available if people would make a damn effort instead of just wanting to make a noise, etc.

"And the Kewls went unto the temple and stood before the priest as he sayeth unto them: Renounce the peroxides; turn your head from Satan and be healed! And they saw the uncleanness all around them: their beekers and flasks were befouled! And as they saw, they wept for they knew they were shamed in the eyes of those who went before them."

nitro-genes - 10-2-2007 at 08:26

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by Rosco Bodine
Following that same convoluted logic ,
then Lead Styphnate is a wonderful initiator even better than mercury fulminate , since lead styphnate accellerated by lead azide will do the same thing even better than mercury fulminate .


Yup! :) You're absolutely right!

Cited from a copy of an army technical manual about military explosives:

"When subjected to the sand test with ignition by
a black powder fuse, the brisance of normal lead
styphnate (10.5 grams of sand crushed) is much less
than that of lead azide (16.7 grams of sand crushed).
However, when initiated with a small charge of mercury
fulminate or lead azide, the brisance (24 grams of sand
crushed) is greater than that of lead azide or mercury
fulminate"

Lead styphnate can probably LVD easily or become deadpressed (densities as used for lead styphnate are rarely beyond 2.5 g/cc while it's crystal density was something like 4.something) and may not be able to sustain high order detonation from a fuse or a small enough amount of LA to be used in a detonator instead of LA. VoD's of about 5200 m/s are found for lead styphnate though this was found by detonating it with a blasting cap, quite different from lighting it with a fuse.


This is probably also the reason that the clathrate truely is more brisant than the components apart. Lead picrate becomes insensitive to fuse ignition when pressed to higher densities just like lead styphnate so it's full potential (more brisant then LA alone at full density) can never be realized in a small amount by fuse only. Putting a tiny layer of LA over an amount of lead picrate will probably give the same results as the clathrate itself although this isn't as practical as an intimate mix though...

Rosco Bodine - 10-2-2007 at 12:01

So here's more off topic information ...but relevant to
reply to what you are saying .

Actually I have tried many composite mixes including
that one , and the only lead salt mixture which I found showing that synergistic increase was the mixture of
lead styphnate and lead azide , a mixture which is well known and has been documented and published by several sources as well as being used commercially .

The only composition of lead salts which I found among the *few* I tested which would high order detonate from the use of a small layer of azide as a shock initiator ,
was a nitrocellulose bindered and hardened putty which
was filled with the triple salt clathrate ( basic lead picrate - lead nitrate - lead chlorate ) . Observing this
led me to attempt the quadruple clathrate complex
having included lead azide based upon that particular
substrate ......an experiment which was successful ,
although I have not yet given the details for that
synthesis . The chlorate variant did prove to be a
more powerful , perhaps 25% more powerful initiator
than the non-chlorate variant and seemed to have
a saturation limit of azide well beyond the non-chlorate variant . I expect that a perchlorate variant would
likely also form according to the same scheme , but
I have not tried this . The yield was above 90% but was not quantitative , so I was uncertain about the exact
composition of the clathrate produced and I have not repeated the experiment . But it appeared likely to me
that the crystalline variant was likely :

4 [ Pb(C6H2N3O7)2 - Pb(OH)2 - Pb(NO3)2 - Pb(CLO3)2 - Pb(N3)2 ] - 16 Pb(N3)2

This is an exception to what is declared in the Kenney patent with regards to saturation limit for occluded
Pb(N3)2 being at 13 , soooo I was a bit uncertain of my own preliminary estimate and observations , especially without repeating the experiment . But anyway , that's what I found .

The next experiment contemplated was to try the perchlorate variant and see what resulted .

Anyway , this is a good example of the purely experimental scenarios I mentioned earlier . So
where exactly in the literature do you go for information
concerning a compound which just made its earthly
debut five minutes ago in your beaker ?

Answer : You don't go anywhere except your own notes
and understanding , trying to keep some rational perspective about what you are doing , consider the
possibilities and make an educated *guess* :D

[Edited on 10-2-2007 by Rosco Bodine]

Boomer - 12-2-2007 at 04:20

How true. But there lies a danger in it, just like in you saying:

"Having good information from experiments is better than unconfirmed information from literature references".

I know you did not mean it that way, but the danger I see is people - especially young beginners - conclude a compound is safe, and dangers are exaggerated, because 'nothing happened' the last few times. I have read many claims by noobs stating "You are stoopid, my AP is safe, I made 3 pounds and nothing happened!"

Don't get me wrong, I know you for a serious scientist, but reading

"Lead picrate alone is ... described in literature as a dangerous and unpredictable compound" (nitro-genes)
"I do have some experience with it and the literature from where you got that information is wrong" (Rosco)

at least makes me doubtfull whether SOME (your words) experience by ONE person, even through real-world experiments, is enough to disclaim the dangers of a compound cited again and again in the literature. After all, it *is* one of the most sensitive primaries. And reading "unpredictable" raises more flags for me than "extremely sensitive". In the latter case, at least you know what to expect.

BTW my personal opinion is that of a person who has little time for experiments, and whose main interest is not in making the perfect primary:
How much I would like to make the clathrates etc. I still go with TATP how sad it may be, for the following reasons (apart from little time):

- A compound cap with the sensitive MHN needs far under 100mg even of this, and say 50mg is an amount I am willing to handle. A remote press is needed anyway, *whatever* you press on top of 2g MHN or PETN.

- My caps are either electric and fully moulded, or the fuse is secured in place first. This way, the primary is safe from mechanical forces and static once finished.

- The non-electric ones tend to be self-defusing once the TATP sublimates, in case you forget one or have to store for longer that planned. I disassembled several caps after 1-2 years which only had an empty space above the MHN, meaning they were safe.

- There is still the EBW :D

Oh and about TATP *being so much weaker* than HMTD, my real world testing showed both are more than sufficient if directly on top of a nitric ester. Needless to say I prefer the chemically stable TATP then. From fragmentation tests, I would rate HMTD 30-40% above TATP.

Whatever primary you use, a compound cap is the way to go - Let a secondary do the job of kick-starting the main charge - They are more brisant than any primary anyway. Why discuss the difference between 4800 m/s and 5300 m/s when there are enough compounds going 8000+ m/s with 50mg of just about anything on top going first?

Rosco Bodine - 12-2-2007 at 07:11

I am not generalizing to the point of saying that all the literature is wrong about everything , on the contrary it is pretty reliable about almost everything , and should be presumed reliable in the absence of any good evidence to the contrary , which are exceptions .

But neither am I going to dismiss the significance of experimental data , when experiments show me directly
that something described in the literature is wrong .
COPAE has errors in it , and so does PATR , Urbanski ,
and other literature , patents included , and professional journals .....nothing in human endeavor is error free ,
and when you do some in depth fact checking and verification experiments ......you absolutely will find
errors in the literature , often simple typos , but also
more than that .....stating of information , usually conclusions or generalizations made by the writer but
stated for fact instead of qualified as opinion , which
are things that are simply not so :D Also there is a
common mistake of stating things which may be true
in an exceptional circumstance , without making it clear
that the statement is only true in a highly qualified and
restricted sense and should not be taken as a sweeping generalization . The dangers concerning picrates have been mischaracterized in that way .

Lead picrate has been used commercially in cartridge primers , and it is fit for such use . If it was unduly sensitive and dangerous , then it would never have been
used as an improvement over fulminate , which it is .
Basic lead picrate is better still , and its double salt with lead nitrate . Lead styphnate is better yet and has become the standard primer .

This is *not* the experience of *one* person ....
which makes me conclude that some of the literature
is in error . There are errors in the literature which I have pointed out as they appear to me , so that others can take a look and see that this is so .....and any careful reader will find and can confirm these errors themselves .
Frankly , if your knowledge of explosives is based only on unverified information which you have accumulated from
reading ......it is something like having read volumes about fishing without ever wetting a line , and then claiming to be a master angler .

Anyway , I hesitate to even post anymore in peroxide
discussions because they always without fail make a descent into arguments which are meaningless and
unscientific . That seems to be where this discussion
is going . I have followed carefully the online discussions
of energetic materials for years and have tried to make my contributions , and to clear the air of the smell of way too much bullshit being stated by " experts " for fact .
I have tried to provide *verifiable* , *repeatable* ,
detailed and accurate information to substantiate what I say . If I haven't got credibility ....then please ...
send in someone who does .

Anyway , lead picrate is somewhat irrelevant with regards to discussing the azo-clathrates , because it isn't lead picrate that is the substrate anyway ....but it is
the basic lead salt that is the clathrate former , and
I don't claim to know more than anybody else about
this particular family of salts , just that I have tried to
share some accurate and useful information about them
and point to references and experiments which are of
interest and which seem to provide reliable information
which should be of value . I'll leave it where it is now ,
and what is so or not so can pass or fail on its own merits .

quicksilver - 12-2-2007 at 07:20

That’s a good illustration of the "safety" problem: personal experience by a mature individual using science and safety to test and quantify individual characteristics of energetic materials. But we are a public forum and not all readers possess the same abilities.
In a public setting too many individuals generalize results that are specific to individual testing scenarios. Personally, I have had a smattering of experience with nitrated phenols. I believe them to be overstated in their sensitivity to a greater extent. However that doesn’t mean that some dolt who sloppily allows material to gather between threads in a container, etc would not experience a hazard. To me it’s common sense to not expose the material to undue friction but depending upon what someone “wants to hear” – that they may construe the material to be “safe” regardless of the situation.
Peroxides are easy to make and the attraction is there for someone who has an interest in energetic materials to manufacture them. Hearing that they, in and of themselves, need some stimulus to pop they forge ahead not realizing that the stimulus occurs on a level much different than that of a material like PA. Or someone hears that a material like lead styphnate is not an efficient initiator, believes that material will not explode with violence enough (given a multi gram weight) to lift a finger or three.
From my own experience, I believe that flash powder has caused more accidents among those who have a longer experience with pyrotechnic materials than most any other. Due simply to the comfort zone that is promoted in those who set up shows for a living and have made so much of the stuff that they don’t focus on the activity as much as the show.
Therefore I think it’s that comfort zone that is a real danger. And too many diminishing remarks may take those with limited experience there. On the other hand it’s those same remarks t (“styphnate’s a poor choice for an individual primary for secondary explos” or whatever) that adds to the knowledge base. I would hate to have to always add an addendum to every remark that it is still a very dangerous material. But it seems that when reading a thread like this from the beginning a person could get the idea that peroxides, if "manufactured correctly" may be experimented with impunity. ....Which then appears to demand the mention of weight of "stockpile" and it's relation to accidental initiation (& resultant damage).

I don’t remember the name of that old Clint Eastwood movie where he said “A man has to know his limitations”.





[Edited on 12-2-2007 by quicksilver]

Rosco Bodine - 12-2-2007 at 08:44

One thing I have noticed is that misinformation in the literature often gets repeated by others , over and over again , and becomes a sort of mythology which takes on a life of its own , gaining credibility by repetition ....obviously by people who never put it to the test ....or else they would be debunking the misinformation instead of perpetuating the myth .

It is evident the effect of " indoctrination " of those who
are a bit paranoid about materials which they have chosen to avoid actually making and testing themselves ,
and yet will not just come out and say so , but will instead pass along something which they have read as if it was knowledge which was directly theirs , instead of
being properly attributed to the actual source .....
which generally turns out to be some encyclopedic reference containing a whole lot of error , both known
and unknown .....and never revised , even in later editions . Errata is alive and well and would achieve eternal life without intervention by proofreaders and
editing of its content . I don't think I have a single textbook where there is not a few lines stricken in highlighter and some footnote commentary added , or sometimes just a question mark to indicate a
" maybe so / maybe not " sort of dubious or qualified nature concerning that particular " fact " which just got uncarved in stone by yours truly .

Anyway the point is .....the scientific literature is not
the unchallenged gospel truth in its every word ,
and just because " it is written " does not necessarily make it so . I am not saying everyone should throw away the book , but what I am saying is not to leave your brain at the door for those who are absorbing and
processing the information contained in the pages therein . When you are reading whatever it is written ,
do not mentally add as an invisible prefix any
" thus sayeth the LORD " to the content of a science book or article authored by a man .

nitro-genes - 12-2-2007 at 18:10

Quote:
Originally posted by Rosco Bodine
Anyway , I hesitate to even post anymore in peroxide
discussions because they always without fail make a descent into arguments which are meaningless and
unscientific . That seems to be where this discussion
is going . I have followed carefully the online discussions
of energetic materials for years and have tried to make my contributions , and to clear the air of the smell of way too much bullshit being stated by " experts " for fact .
I have tried to provide *verifiable* , *repeatable* ,
detailed and accurate information to substantiate what I say . If I haven't got credibility ....then please ...
send in someone who does .


From the perspective of NaN3 economy and it's initiating ability these clathrates defenitely seem very interesting and usefull, with a huge amount of other possible related compounds yet to investigate. I never claimed to be an expert by saying that lead picrate is described as a very sensitive compound as I said myself that I hadn't got any experience with it myself. It is just that I haven't seen any conclusive data about it's sensitivity, or I must have missed it completely, in which case I sincerely apologize. Everyone presents it as beeing a worldclass primary (by saying this I don't mean it isn't) which led me to believe that the sensitivity of this compound was tested to be low or at least not higher than the parental compounds alone, but apparently noone knows or has tried to find out, which I find strange...

Anyway, these homemade PETN PBX sheet explosives with critictal diameter of under a mm turned out to be validated multiple times and caught on video by an experienced person as well, though I seem to remember someone calling this bullshit because of some unscientific arguments and without any first hand experience as well.... So let's call it even shall we? :P:D:P:D:P:D

Just kidding, no harm intended! ;)

[Edited on 13-2-2007 by nitro-genes]

quicksilver - 13-2-2007 at 06:58

When the "Mr. Anonymous clathrate" post went up I reproduced the experiment ASAP. And generally my experience was the same. It took a tiny bit more clathrate than DLA to initiate a given .8 gr of PETN. I don't remember how much more but it was basicly insignificant except for a military bean counter. However the second thing I did was get that damn patent in my hot little hands. I tried most of the picrate configurations within and although it turned out that I couldn't find a magic bullet it was damn fun.
One thing about individual experimentation is that to quanitfy results the experiementor needs a hell of a lot of "back up" / repeatable results, etc. I suppose that's why software engeneers have shit-loads of beta testers. Example: --- I have seen basic lead styphate used to light up a .8 gr unit of PETN and the damn thing worked at the .33 gr level. The problem I see with experiments of this type is that I would need to have various samples of PETN in various crystal shapes in various levels of density to such a degree that one individual couldn't cover all the variables... So it's not making a fair assumption that such and such does this and that IF I have only a few testing mediums to quanitfy the results, no? And to really cover some ground the experiment would really need to go on for some time. Covering many areas such as (in this instance) crystal shape, density, temp, diamieter, type of initiation, humidity, containment issues, etc.
The point about critical diameter you just mentioned is a good example. The only way that could be assessed is to have a hell of a lot of materal at one's disposal.
On RS they have a tread about "Explosives Falsities" or wantever....and if you check it out - it degenerated into movie make-believe because that's really the only thing that hobbiests can attack with impunity. The lab & testing facilities nesessary to really go after some serious results would be beyond the means of most guys. However, moving to some area wherein one could get some outstanding results would be possible IF several experimentors directed their energies toward a common simple goal. Witness the efforts with ETN.



[Edited on 13-2-2007 by quicksilver]

Rosco Bodine - 13-2-2007 at 09:12

One of the things that I intended to try next and haven't gotten around to doing , is to attempt the azo-clathrate
synthesis at several times the dilution and see what would be the increase in crystal size and perhaps have
a better uniformity of crystal . I was thinking to do
the synthesis at perhaps five or six times the dilution ,
and I also wanted to look at the perchlorate variant
to see if it would show the same increased azide content
capability which had been observed for the chlorate .

P.S. I am still dubious about sheet explosives when the
thickness is down to what is really " film " thickness and there simply isn't ( or shouldn't be ) enough cross section there to sustain a detonation wave by a secondary explosive . It begs the question in my mind of how much
silver fulminate is included as a dispersed component
and " pigment " in the " explosive paint " in order for it
to function .

[Edited on 13-2-2007 by Rosco Bodine]

quicksilver - 14-2-2007 at 17:53

I was also. It sounded like someone had to come up with some stats for the state to maintain their budget. The only reason I felt it could fly was that there are some compound detonators that are unique shapes for use in military apps and the secondary was very thin.

On the subject of clathrates I can readily maintain that they are quite stable. I just can't find much written about them other than some of the original work was done by a nun IIRC. Regarding a perchlorate varient; where would one start? A heavy metal perchlorate?

Rosco Bodine - 14-2-2007 at 19:18

The only written descriptions of which I am aware concerning the azo-clathrates is a brief mention in
PATR , which references the patents ....along with what
I have written myself :D Actually I believe Von Herz and Friedrich were aware of some of these multiple salts , but
never fully understood exactly what they were was clathrates nor fully described them .

I seem to have a talent for obscure topics of interest as
curiosities so if anyone finds anything more ....
please share .

Regarding the chlorate , perchlorate , and other variants
it works just the same as when forming the acetate or
aminoacetate , lactate , ......and azide variants ....you
simply add a soluble sodium , potassium , or perhaps ammonium salt of the desired acid , to an equimolar amount of additional lead nitrate being present in advance in the original reaction mixture , and double
decomposition occurs , with the new lead salt being formed .....complexing itself into the clathrate . This
will occur even in opposition to what the usual solubility
driven double decomposition would provide .

Actually this was described in detail in the earlier patents
which dealt with the non-azide containing clathrates ,
and it works exactly the same way with the azo-clathrates .

So ( theoretically ) ....
if you wanted to introduce lead perchlorate ,
you would simply add sodium or potassium or ammonium perchlorate in the amount corresponding to the molar
amount of basic lead picrate - lead nitrate already formed , in a residual solution containing excess lead nitrate which will then further react to form lead perchlorate , which would complex to form basic lead picrate - lead nitrate - lead perchlorate .

*All* of the sequential lead salts in the clathrate are
derived from lead nitrate alone . All of the other lead salts
in the complex are formed by double decomposition .

quicksilver - 14-2-2007 at 23:50

Some of the luckiest moves I have made were wondering into the chemistry building at the local U and simply asking for old stock. I wound up w/ perchloric acid (which was a whole world of discovery unto itself)..... until that time I was utilizing ammonium perchlorate but I found some limitations there. But my prize thus far is cupric, nickel & mercuric nitrate (they had a hell of a lot of water in them due to their age but I dried them out)......the cupric turned out to be much too sensitive to make more than a few Mg of azide (that's a story!) but Hg NO3 might form the basis for a unique clathrate. From what I read crystal size influences mercuric azide however they only seem to present an issue if one re-crystalizes, as the initial product is tiny. But in a clathrate the size issue raises it's fearsom head.....:o Another thing I found fun is a web page that is popped out by a guy who sells used microscopes. I found a 100-300x that has a measuring element to it and I check the crystals through it (it's a cheapy but it works). One day I am going to find a way to attach a camera and post some pics.

Sickman - 15-2-2007 at 00:23

I did a little internet search to try and track down Joseph F Kenney, the author of the clathrate patents, in hopes that I could email him and request more information about the clathrates that he patented.

Unfortunatly, it appears that he already got old and died around ten years ago.

I found this info on a certain Joseph F. Kenney:

JOSEPH F KENNEY, 16 Mar 1927, 18 Mar 1997:mad::(

Maybe it's not the same person? Anyway, he must have already been 40 years old (if same person) when he published/applied for the patent on the "azo-clathrates". Only lived to 70? Too bad for us, as he would likely have extensive information on the properties of those compounds that was simply too exaustive to include in the patents.

[Edited on 15-2-2007 by Sickman]

Rosco Bodine - 15-2-2007 at 01:04

I would have to go back and review this to be certain ,
but I am pretty sure that the clathrates of the sort
I was experimenting with are all a type of mixed lead salts composition , exclusively containing lead salts only , and the basic lead picrate is the lattice forming material which wraps itself like a matrix or cage structure surrounding the various other lead salts for which it has peculiar affinity to absorb ......almost like it was a lead specific molecular sieve ....or a synthetic lead analogue of zeolite perhaps . I have thought that perhaps the basic lead picrate forms something like an expanded hydrated sol-gel structure which has preferential affinity for lead salts to the water of hydration or solution ....so it acts something like a
" flocculent " does in in water treatment
scenarios , latching onto those other lead salts and
crystallizing out as an insoluble or nearly so , complex salt . I think you could probably get many different
*lead* based salts to participate in the formation of
clathrate complexes of this sort .....but I am not so sure that anything other than lead based salts would work ,
actually I am doubtful anything other than lead based salts would add into the lattice .

[Edited on 15-2-2007 by Rosco Bodine]

quicksilver - 15-2-2007 at 06:16

If you could give me a leg up of where to start looking....as I would love to attempt it but I don't want to waste stuff (of course). Perhaps that was in reference to the picrate lattice?
I'm going to search this evening....I'm sure your right in terms of picrate latice clathrate compounds. I am just day-dreaming here: What I was thinking was something along the "fulminate" concept;of using a metal salt in that case Hg (but in our case Pb) and piggy-backing another on top of the existing one. This may sound impractable but using the basic lead picrate and a alternative metal (let's say Cu) - the way copper fulminate uses mercury fulminate as a starting point.

But there's always the perchlorate (Pb) idea.




[Edited on 15-2-2007 by quicksilver]

Rosco Bodine - 15-2-2007 at 08:43

If you mean to ask what other candidate materials might possibly be clathrate formers of this multiple salt type ,
which could follow the mechanism of the lead salts .....
the candidates for experiments would be those metal
salts which readily form a hydrated gel when basified ,
but a gel which dehydrates and collapses on heating
to near boiling .....and this property would need to be
so for the basic picrate salt of that metal also , at least to the extent it would form a hydrated salt which may convert to a lower hydrate or anhydrous condition upon
further heating and/or changing pH .

Of course lead may be peculiar in its behavior , or I could be wrong about the mechanism so all of this is highly
speculative .

Also I would bet that the pH has to be within a fairly narrow range where this hypothetical sol-gel mechanism occurs , at least with any efficiency .....and if that window
condition of pH and temperature , perhaps concentration as well , is not present for the complex formation , then it won't appear as a product even from a mixture of its required precursors .

quicksilver - 16-2-2007 at 06:28

I have the weekend free; I'm actually going to start in. The biggest problem is to determine if success is met because the anaytical elements for determination of a true clathrate may be too difficult for the hobbiest with home materials. Microscopic examination may help a little but is certainly not conclusive even at above 500x and it doesn't mean a damn thing if it pops as hell of a lot of things could be responsible for energetic activity.

Rosco Bodine - 16-2-2007 at 10:53

Direct sunlight on the filter cake should reveal the
glittering of tiny crystal faces on an even colored
material which almost has an irridescent effect when
wet , but then dulls considerably after drying ...is one
of the physical observations I have made , and another
is a color shift and reflectivity change can be seen in the suspended solids , as the chemical composition changes .
There was something to the contrary described in the
Kenney patents which noted that the physical appearance of the material would not change as
complexation proceeded ....but that is simply wrong
in my every observation , there are most definitely
considerable changes in the appearance of the material
colorwise and otherwise , as the chemical composition is changed .

Are you looking at other possibilities like barium , iron
or copper based multiple salts ....or are you going to
attempt different lead salts ?

Basic lead styphnate is a possibility as a substrate which would seem to be a natural for experiments , although
I have never tried it .

One thing is crucial , and that is allowing for the very
slow additions and keeping the solids in suspension ,
with a sufficiently rapid and deep vortex so that any
solids are continuously swept from the bottom of the beaker , and don't simply sit there like a sand dune
piled up along the bottom edge .....but are always
churned upwards into the reaction mixture . If you
have a tall beaker with a small stirbar which can be
run at high speed , at a certain speed the stirbar may
orbit in a small circle instead of spinning stably at a fixed
centerpoint in the bottom of the beaker . Or you may be able to run the stirbar slightly off center and cause
a vortex which will travel in a cyclical fashion , and keep
the solids from settling anywhere in one spot on the bottom . But this is essential that you be attentive
to keeping the solids in continuous motion suspended
and exposed to the liquid . I have even run an overhead
stirrer having a small nylon model boat propellor on the end of a shaft , directing the propwash into that area
where a duning of crystals would occur from the circulation caused by the magnetic stirbar , along with
positioning of a thermometer clamped at a location
which would further cause turbulence in the swirling
liquid ......whatever it takes to get the job done ,
something like the action of a blender , but without
the milling effect of blades .....is what is needed .

So it can be a bit tricky , and the larger the batch ....
the more of a trick it gets to be to achieve the necessary
good agitation . Lead salts are pretty dense and want
to go straight to the bottom and sit there .....so this
compares with trying to keep iron filings in suspension ,
or is maybe even a bit worse , but it can be done .

quicksilver - 17-2-2007 at 06:39

well, I actually tried the listed Kenny varients some time back. My results very very interesting in that what was projected for yield was not realized by my efforts. On the other hand; the sensivity of a clathrate made with PbNO3 -=appeared=- higher that one made with acetate. The styphnate issue sounds likely and would be very simple for me to give it a go. but in my heart, I want to attempt something wilder as I have a gut feeling that there is more to the clathrate concept than meets the eye. However I realize that IF it should actually form up, that the utility is as a simple curiousoty. UNLESS there is a method of working with the yield issue.
Remember you made a statement to the effect of " where else can you invest 25 gr of azide and get a yield of this level"? Shit; I don't know how you figured out the extrapolated formula that you did but, it's true, the yield for your clathrate was better than those listed in the Kenny patent. I know that for a fact as I tried the various listed clathrates and were below the margin of the one you worked out.
And indeed I thought of a differing salt but I doubt I would try it until I had more info. What I was thinking of was HgNO3-> mercuric azide -> a clathrate in the usual manner. It's heavy, etc. But there may be more to lead than the superrficiality of weght. I simply don't have enough information. Thus saturday will be my study day and sunday my lab :P yea!

Rosco Bodine - 17-2-2007 at 09:40

Yeah the methods described by Kenney can be refined ,
as regards to sequence and temperatures , concentrations . IIRC the basic lead picrate - lead nitrate - lead chlorate
( non-azo clathrate ) yield is increased considerably by first forming the basic lead picrate alone , and then adding the lead nitrate - lead chlorate components as a mixed solution of lead nitrate and potassium chlorate .....as opposed to Kenneys method which has all of the lead nitrate in the reaction mixture from the start .

I'll have to check my notes and see how it was proportionally divided .....I can't remember if it was a mixture balanced for double decomposition to lead chlorate alone , or for that , and additional lead nitrate supplying the lead nitrate portion of the triple salt . I don't recall the exact sequencing I used , but I may be able to figure it out ...it was one way or the other .

I'll review my notes and try to remember the sequence ,
as I believe it is correct that I was able to also make
a 4/16 azo-clathrate based upon that basic lead picrate - lead nitrate - lead chlorate . By 4/16 what I mean to
say is represented :

4 [ Pb(C6H2N3O7)2 - Pb(OH)2 - Pb(NO3)2 - Pb(ClO3)2 - Pb(N3)2 ] 16 (PbN3)2

At first I thought it was possibly 4/17 .....but I think that
it was probably oversaturated slightly , and 4/16 is
more likely ....unless it is just an error in my notes .
I use abbreviations and improvised shorthand on notations
which are clear to me for the time I am doing experiments ,
but if I fail to transcribe the notes to plain english within
a reasonable time .....I forget my own abbreviations and
in time it becomes so much jibberish , so that I may have to repeat the experiments to try to figure out what in the hell I was doing :D Hopefully the math will allow me figure out
the verbal description which correlates and then I can
transcribe / translate these damn hieroglyphics that too
often are my " lab notes " :P .

quicksilver - 19-2-2007 at 07:54

:( -=I am VERY familiar with the "transcription" issue=- :(

Yea, If you can find any related info; let me know or post it.
Over the weekend - I attempted a crystal growth/sensitivity experiment with azo-clathrate material and it does appear that if the crystal is grown (as in lead azide) the sensitivity spikes appriciably. This may seem like common sense however I was wondering if the lattice effects the material through a physical "buffer". My experiments show this is not the case. Using a measuring mircoscope and re-crystalization of azo-clathrate so that I had a consistent sample that was larger than the original; it's sensitivty was much greater to friction, impact and (to a limited extent) heat.

I had some notes that I wrote about two weeks ago (that I actually really wanted to utilize) and I couldn't figure out what one third of it was. If they ever make a device for a handheld recorder that transcribes into text for a PC I may just invest.

[Edited on 20-2-2007 by quicksilver]

AP test what would it do to your hand (video)

pyromainiac420 - 25-2-2007 at 20:30

i conducted a test with a fake hand with nearly 10g AP to see how much dammage it would do to you heres the link for the youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_5xBACMVnI as you can see you should be carefull with this stuff

Broken Gears - 25-2-2007 at 21:35

Holy crap! Nice test :)

Why do people make AP? Its cheap and thats it! Way too sensitive and not that powerful.
There was a case not long ago in Denmark, where a group of young muslims (I feel bad for all muslims, because some think that blowing up civilians or other targets
in a fight for God you'll get rewarded. I have read about Islam and it is a beautiful and peaceful religion and way of life. Too bad very few people see that, even amongst them self) was arrested for making AP, it turned out to be a terror cell. But because of lack of evidence, only one was sentenced. He got 10.. or was it 14 years in the prison.
What were they thinking? You need ALOT of AP to do some real damage to buildings, I belive.

Explosives are fun yes, but putting a explosive compund in a small closed can of some sort, is just plane dump, think about it.

The_Davster - 25-2-2007 at 22:02

Actually containment is only bad when the material needs a bit of a boost to det. The standard or exotic primaries do that without a can.

We have too many AP threads, this is being merged.

Rosco Bodine - 25-2-2007 at 22:13

Quote:
Originally posted by Broken Gears

There was a case not long ago in Denmark, where a group of young muslims (I feel bad for all muslims, because some think that blowing up civilians or other targets
in a fight for God you'll get rewarded.


Wonder where they would get such a twisted idea
about dying while in the process of doing cold blooded murder .....being an act of supreme religous devotion
and sacrifice to be called martyrdom ? Real mystery where
any muslim would get that idea huh ?

Quote:

I have read about Islam and it is a beautiful and peaceful religion and way of life.


Keep reading and keep telling yourself that , and see how well that squares with what you observe firsthand .

Quote:

Too bad very few people see that, even amongst them self)


Must be just a lack of depth on the part of the outside non-muslim observer , and modesty and humility on the part of the muslims themselves , which results in that sad kind of confusion which just sometimes brings out the beast in them huh ?
Quote:

was arrested for making AP, it turned out to be a terror cell.

Nah , you don't mean it ....say it isn't so , that muslims would so something violent in Denmark , bringing bad reputation and publicity on their gentle peaceful religion ??? Next they will probably be stabbing people to death on city sidewalks
because of fatwas issued over something silly like cartoons huh ?
Quote:

But because of lack of evidence, only one was sentenced. He got 10.. or was it 14 years in the prison.
What were they thinking?


They were thinking about seventy virgins in their idea of heaven as reward from what they think is god , for murdering people whom they regard as being their inferiors ....in spite of every evidence to the contrary of who are the lessers and the betters in the great food chain of the worlds hierarchy .

When they go out in a blaze of glory , taking more decent folks with their sorry asses when they go .... in their minds they have the final word in defining how things are , with
more little jihadi shitheads waiting in line to repeat their
spectacle ....as if one more affirmation and amen to what
stupidity went before somehow by repetition and attrition
of "the enemy" gains credibility for their twisted faith .
Fanatics are incapable of reason ....they rant , foam at the mouth , and do their mad dog deeds .....unless somebody
sees it coming and puts a clean stop to it first .

pyromainiac420 - 26-2-2007 at 14:29

yeah id like to see the doctors in the ER try to put that hand back together...

franklyn - 18-4-2007 at 00:29

I wrote this up responding to the opening gambit before I read the whole thread
through , and now I feel like a boob chiming into a stealth discussion on clathrates?
No matter, its a novelty to feel like I've stayed up late to listen to the grownups.


The material is unpredictable to the extent that if it is used at all it is mostly by
suicide bombers because they are going to die anyway , duh.
When you ask " how sensitive is it " in effect you're saying how can I handle it
safely. If you need to ask , thats a big red flag that you should re-consider your
actions. It is a great lament that this is conspicuously absent in every way from
the usual banter on the subject of explosives but it is not obtainable by reading.
Explosives handling is one thing that really requires apprenticeship.
That means being observed , monitored , and supervised by those experienced
and indoctrinated in safe handling , so they may slap the back of your hand when
you do something potentially dangerous. If you do so more than a few times you
will be told to get the F*** off the range. It is established practice in the military
to work in pairs with one watching the other performing a task , why ? Because
what you yourself can't see will kill you. So how sensitive is it ? It doesn't matter
if it happens that you're a klutz , in that case god help you. The best advice you
already heard told , work with minute amounts not confined in a metal or glass
container. The real killer is static electricity. Static sensitive elctronics require the
wearing of a wrist strap to ground yourself when handling the boards. This is no
different when dry and the consequences are much dire.
A final thought , material safety data is in part a collection of anecdotes about
look what happened to me. All the families that manufacture and commercialize
pyrotechnic displays have had calamities. The history of explosives manufacture
by the most skilled and knowledgeable personnel is punctuated by colossal
catastrophes. Wether you acknowledge this or not there exists an unknowable
element of risk that cannot be accounted for in this , it can only be minimized.

Sidebar _
I hear tell that self contained single use devices comprised of a monolithic capacitor
bank firing an exploding film bridge to detonate a small secondary explosive booster
directly, may replace primary explosive blasting caps alltogether in an explosive
train. The cost of capacitors and blasting caps are comparable and this has been
the trend with military ordnance.

.

quicksilver - 18-4-2007 at 05:41

Interesting sidebar!

I actually should apologize for the clathrate issue. It was my fou' pax.
-What can really be said about TATP? I think your reference said it well. If you have to ask; you need more time. I for one just find TATP boring and stupidly dangerous. I may be correct in saying that the same level of energy from electrostatic shock in m-joules that shoots high-end flash will shoot TATP. That is a seriously low level. And for all this what does one get? It's not even a true primary for crying out loud.
I talk occasionally to a friend who had a serious accident when he was young. This guy still "blasts" around but he is quite careful...... he won't go near that shit. He is the only fellow I know who had a REAL EOD background in the service. Combat Engineers in a grunt outfit. Just the thing for this guy! And I respect what he says about things like this and he echoes what you just wrote.

If you understand,
Things are just as they are.
If you do not understand,
Things are just as they are.
... Zen

gregxy - 18-4-2007 at 12:49

The story that surprised me was the one about the guy that
was pressing explosive into a 22cal shell casing and had it
explode. Fragments of the casing went through a 1.6mm steel shield and into his body.

I would have expected the steel shield to be enough to stop such lite fragments, and how much material can you fit in a 22 casing a gram or so?

It would be a good idea to put a "sticky" at the start of energetic materials talking about all these dangers.

The problem with TATP is that it is sensitive, powerful enough to hurt you, easy to make and easy to get the ingredients and therefore a real danger to the inexperienced.

franklyn - 18-4-2007 at 13:48

Quote:
Originally posted by quicksilver
Interesting sidebar!

I actually should apologize for the clathrate issue. It was my fou' pax.


Not at all . to paraphrase Forest Gump , a thread is like a box of chocolates
you never know what you're going to get.

The cap substitute idea seems pefectly reasonble to me. That something
similar to a fuse igniter can be made at low cost just like the flash in single
use disposable cameras.

.

mbrown3391 - 13-6-2007 at 20:52

I'm not entirely sure what all you guys are talking about. Ive done several tests with TATP since i originally started this thread and have found that it takes the force of a moderate hammer swing to set this stuff off by impact. I don't see how careful handling could result in an explosion, especially if it has been prepared below 0 degrees C and the acid catylist has been completely neutralized. Furthermore, I've found that without some sort of compression (usually a weight on top of the TATP), the acetone peroxide will not even explode, and instead burns into a fireball without any type of sound. I've even placed a tiny amount of TATP in a test tube and heated in over a bunsen burner, which caused it to melt, not explode. Does anyone have an actual story where they themselves or someone they know has had a close call with TATP?

On a side note, i recently tried dropping wet acetone peroxide into water around 95 degrees C. The powder floats on the surface and then begins to melt. as the water cools, clearly defined crystals begin to appear on the surface. Ive read that larger crystals are more sensitive because they break more easily, but wouldn't these crystals, being formed in water, include water in the crystal structure? Wouldn't that water reduce the sensitivity of the TATP, maybe even making it impossible to detonate?

[Edited on 14-6-2007 by mbrown3391]

franklyn - 15-6-2007 at 22:03

I defer to your hands on experience I have never made nor handled this stuff
myself but I know this much. The killer is static electricity which only presents
a risk in very dry climates. Crystal size matters due to the Piezo electric effect.
Larger crystals under strain can develop a bias of several thousand volts which
will spark when fractured causing initiation , it's the reason water content acts
to desensitize. Organic peroxides are unstable and change when kept stored
affecting their sensitivity , and there is nothing you can do about that. Finally
there is the question of purity as to contaminants present in greater
concentration in some small portion of the whole that may sensitize that part
more than the rest. This is inevitable from handling and processing and a source
of unreliability unless your batch is pharmaceutical grade pure.

.

quicksilver - 16-6-2007 at 07:14

Damn, Franklyn you echo my thoughts quite closely on this issue & with such consistency! The killer -=IS=- static electricity !!! And if people don't understand how insidious that can be they are taking a VERY severe chance with their eyes, fingers, hands, etc. The basic reason why it's often reported to be "unstable" or whatever is that people just don't think about static until it's shot. There are SO MANY people who don't post here any more because they lost a finger or any eye and thus we don't hear about it. I KNOW that as I have seen what over-confidence & lack of knowledge can do. And honestly, I don't mean to put anyone down at all here but it's a very serious disservice to minimize in any manner just how fast one can loose an eye. No one whats to hear pain stories so I won't go there but I really think that any caviler attitude with energetic materials is asking for a tragedy. This board has had quite a few people who have gotten hurt & unfortunately they don't come back and say what happened. But I know one of them and he said he was more shocked than anything else at first. Then he realized the seriousness of the injuries and was totally embarrassed to say anything (& I will always keep his confidentiality) because he remembers saying often that he "knew how to handle" TATP. He made a mistake, thats all. He wasn't a stupid person by any means.

gregxy - 18-6-2007 at 09:43

Another thing to keep in mind is how powerful these peroxides are. 200mg of HMTD (about the size of a pea) wrapped in aluminum foil and ignited with a fuse will blast a crater an inch deep in a pine block. So if the same amount goes off in your hand you are going to loose fingers.

phangue - 18-6-2007 at 21:50

As to Muslims who kill innocent people, by blowing themselves up—oh, they’ll get all those pretty virgins, but to now avail. For just punishment, they will wake up in the afterlife without a dick.

mbrown3391 - 20-6-2007 at 19:58

Wet tatp acts almost like clay, such that i can compress it into blocks and allow it to dry. i usually divide it into 30 gram blocks and store each block on a paper towel to dry, which usually takes 1-2 days. Then, to move it to the detonation site, i pick up the corners of the paper towel. So, is there anyway that i could detonate it accidently with static if i never actually touch the TATP itself? also, by transporting it this way, wouldn't the force of an accidental explosion not even reach my hand? And i again return to one of my orriginal points--TATP is extremely hard to detonate without compression! 2 days ago, i took at least 100 grams of tatp and put it on a paper towel, then lit the paper towel. Previously i had only used 30g quanties with heavy objects ontop of them. Anyway, even in this extremely large quanitity, the acetone peroxide did not detonate, it simply deflagrated into a fireball with almost no sound and no destruction to the surface it was detonated on.

Rosco Bodine - 20-6-2007 at 20:30

Quote:
Originally posted by mbrown3391
i usually divide it into 30 gram blocks and store each block on a paper towel to dry, which usually takes 1-2 days. Then, to move it to the detonation site, i pick up the corners of the paper towel. So, is there anyway that i could detonate it accidently with static if i never actually touch the TATP itself? also, by transporting it this way, wouldn't the force of an accidental explosion not even reach my hand?

The traumatic amputation would probably be two to four inches above the wrist where the hand used to be . The overpressure has about a 50/50 chance of killing you outright , which would probably be the more merciful outcome of the coin toss .
Quote:

And i again return to one of my orriginal points--TATP is extremely hard to detonate without compression!

Not if it is dry and there are more than a few grams of it .
Quote:

2 days ago, i took at least 100 grams of tatp and put it on a paper towel, then lit the paper towel. Previously i had only used 30g quanties with heavy objects ontop of them. Anyway, even in this extremely large quanitity, the acetone peroxide did not detonate, it simply deflagrated into a fireball with almost no sound and no destruction to the surface it was detonated on.

Then it was wet , not dry .

@Moderator .

Before this thread gets put out of its misery ,
hopefully the OT part of the thread concerning clathrates can be retrieved , moved somewhere.

Pyridinium - 20-6-2007 at 20:58

Quote:
Originally posted by mbrown3391
So, is there anyway that i could detonate it accidently with static if i never actually touch the TATP itself? also, by transporting it this way, wouldn't the force of an accidental explosion not even reach my hand?


I wish people would stop making this stuff. It jeopardizes legitimate chemists who happen to have those ingredients in their lab (which includes nearly every chemist on earth). Soon the authorities start to think there's no legitimate purpose to have those things. I see it happening already. And that bothers me.

All it takes is that one unexpected time, where you're tired or you make a mistake, or you discover something you didn't know about the stuff, and BOOM. No more fingers.

The fact that you're moving TATP even a few feet adds a huge risk factor. Don't even tell me you make it in glass containers. Why not take up a safer pastime like B.A.S.E. jumping?

StevenRS - 3-1-2008 at 16:07

I may be somewhat new to explosives, but this stuff scares me. I refuse to make it. It is a lot of people's first explosive, and this is really sad. It, of all explosives, is probably the hardest to use somewhat safely. Its not like NI3 which tells you outright, "Don't mess with me"; AP tells you,"I'm safe" then blows your hand off. Fun.

Answer to posted question: It depends on the moon phase, season, tilt of the earth, and alignment of the planets.

[Edited on 3-1-2008 by StevenRS]

[Edited on 4-1-2008 by StevenRS]

Zinc - 4-1-2008 at 16:39

I see that a lot of people on this forum don't like (And some eve hate!!) AP. But I don't understand why!! AP is an explosive like any other. Yes it is very sensitive and dangerous and should be made very carefully and in small amounts. But if someone makes AP that doesn't automatically make him a kewl or terrorist!!

StevenRS - 4-1-2008 at 17:57

Your right, it definitely doesn't. AP takes a lot of skill to use safely, even though it is easy to make, and most of all, it takes constant awareness of its danger so you never start to become careless with it, even if you have made it 1000 times. The ability to do that marks experience in this field.

Aqua_Fortis_100% - 5-1-2008 at 12:25

Quote:
Originally posted by StevenRS :
Your right, it definitely doesn't. AP takes a lot of skill to use safely, even though it is easy to make, and most of all, it takes constant awareness of its danger so you never start to become careless with it, even if you have made it 1000 times. The ability to do that marks experience in this field.


I agree with you.. As steven said , AP is the 'Beginning'
of many 'pyro people' who starts in energetic materials field as amateur.. Just to leave my simple viewpoint I quote this , which IMHO is very comprehensive :

Quote:

Originally posted by Zinc :
I see that a lot of people on this forum don't like (And some eve hate!!) AP. But I don't understand why!! AP is an explosive like any other. Yes it is very sensitive and dangerous and should be made very carefully and in small amounts. But if someone makes AP that doesn't automatically make him a kewl or terrorist!!



[Edited on 5-1-2008 by Aqua_Fortis_100%]

BromicAcid - 5-1-2008 at 12:38

Quote:
I see that a lot of people on this forum don't like (And some eve hate!!) AP. But I don't understand why!! AP is an explosive like any other.


The preparation of acetone peroxide is such a simple endeavor that anyone out there who can read a prep can do it, even if the amounts are way out of whack it will usually still work. Because of this threads focusing on the subject usually deal more with the practical application of the material, which is of course a no-no here. However many of the newer people who haven't learned that practical application of explosives is forbidden still start topics on acetone peroxide, which leads the seasoned members here to see thread after thread asking the same questions and to be honest it gets annoying. So I'm sorry if some of us here seem to be a bit short tempered on the subject, I have nothing against the compound itself, just that by now most of the conversation on the subject has petered out and those threads that are created on acetone peroxide discussing something new or novel that deserve a place here inevitably get corralled into practical/tweaking aspects and then steadily go downhill from there.

Aqua_Fortis_100% - 5-1-2008 at 13:09

Yeah Bromic , I also agree with you in this point ..which leaves to another similair point..
This forum, like some other foruns, usually deals with tremendously hazardous compounds like potentially explosives and poisons substances..Some persons starting these threads are only interested in chemistry and the rest is the problem.. They use with great irresponsability the compound(s) and make it watched and usually "banned".. For example, there are many explosives, like TNT , PETN ,etc, but they are so rarely used improperly that many people 'forget it' quickly (I never have see I member cursing on these compounds.. (except AP, of course)..maybe because is hard to acquire the necessary reagents like nitric and sulfuric acid , and also somewhat hard to do the necessary procedures like watching temps , heating when necessary, purifying the compounds through solvents,etc ..but yeah..are all much more safe to handle than AP)..But acetone peroxide is very easy to make (as you said anyone can make it, even if nothing know about chemistry) and so backyard teenagers experimenters , 'kelws' and others are severely injure or even die while 'playing' with this stuff or even for no apparent reason..And while the easy exothermic reactions are treated like 'cake recipes' and in widespread in the web, the persons reading will be attempted to try the procedure and many times hurt theyselves.. This will generate the people suspicious and prone to give to the compound the 'guilt' from all the bad things ocurring.. The peoples never assume they are the only responsibles! (this is true also for terrorists and other bitchs)



[Edited on 5-1-2008 by Aqua_Fortis_100%]

quicksilver - 10-1-2008 at 11:12

There is little chemistry to be gleaned from a backyard synth and what may have been interesting has been discussed at length and to such a degree that it's similar to discussing spark plug gapping on a motorcycle forum. - There's nothing interesting about TATP except perhaps Darwin Awards.

Zinc - 27-1-2008 at 07:25

I know that this is a little OT but I didn't want to start a new thread about it. Yesterday I ignited a line of AP and it didn't burn like it normally does with a large fireball and you can see as the flame goes on the line of AP. This time the whole line burned instantly (it was around 25 cm long but not in one piece, somewhere wasn't any AP for several millimeters and in some other places small piles) with a louder thump sound than usually and with a extremely short lasting transparent blue flame. Does anyone know why that happened?

quicksilver - 30-1-2008 at 05:55

Zinc:
You can find out a Hell of a lot about AP by reading "Chemistry, the Molecular Science" by Moore. Get that book! Start at Chapter one and just keep reading it. The parts about AP will start to hit you. Just keep reading it straight through; the individual chapters are all relational to AP, but you have to read it. It's all though-out that book. Just keep thinking about AP and what you read. Just start at Chapter one and keep reading. If you like AP, that book will have a lot to give you. It even has CD's in it. You'll love, if you give it a chance.

[Edited on 30-1-2008 by quicksilver]

Boomer - 30-1-2008 at 09:34

Good one! :D

And in case he's more into the practical applications, Cooper's "Explosive Engineering" is a must-have.

For even more hand-on practice, we recommend Bulson's "Explosive Loading of Engineering Structures".
It's a bit pricey at 243.75$ from the ISEE, but then he doesn't have to rent a Ryder truck. :P

Zinc - 31-1-2008 at 10:59

Thank you!

I will try to find those books.

Adas - 27-1-2012 at 10:51

I am sorry to bring up an old topic, but I must say that TATP is not sensitive to (UV) light - I tried magnifying glass (11cm, pretty large) + direct sunlight, but no decomp. or initiation. Only when I put something dark into it, it deflagrated.

watson.fawkes - 27-1-2012 at 13:31

Quote: Originally posted by Adas  
I must say that TATP is not sensitive to (UV) light - I tried magnifying glass (11cm, pretty large) + direct sunlight
Most ordinary soda-lime glasses are fairly opaque to UV. Unless you're using a magnifier made of a glass with known transparency to UV or have measured the UV flux yourself, you've hardly demonstrated anything.

caterpillar - 27-1-2012 at 15:05

Once I read a solid russian book on primary explosives. I made acetonetriperoxide some times. I had no accidents with it, even with dry one. I think, it is really good primer. There was two sorts of AP described. They differ by catalyst, used for prepapration. I do not remember now, but there was an explanation, why H2SO4 shoudn't be used. Use HCl instead. 5 gr of H2O2 (30%) +4 gr of acetone plus 1-2 drops of HCl. Next day wash precipitate and make with it all what you want. I worked with dry AP. Nothing happened. I used small amount to make primers (1-1.5 gr per one). According to aforementiond book, it is less sensitive than mercury fulminate.

Adas - 27-1-2012 at 15:31

Quote: Originally posted by caterpillar  
it is less sensitive than mercury fulminate.


Yeah, and the dumbasses still put mercury fulminate into blasting caps instead of using something less sensitive and - most importantly - LESS TOXIC!

TATP is not so sensitive when the 2 surfaces (or just one of them) is not hard - for example, you can hit TATP hard on wooden surface using a glass bottle, and nothing happens - I tested. Even when the wood seems to be a hard surface, it actually isn't.

People tend to overestimate its unstability, because they don't want any terrorists and kids to make it. Even TATP made at room temp is not nearly as sensitive as some sources say.

[Edited on 27-1-2012 by Adas]

Bot0nist - 27-1-2012 at 16:05

Keep on with this complacent attitude and you will get hurt! AP was not used for commercial or military use for a reason. More tests than you can even comprehend, I'm sure, lead in to its dismissal, even in wartime. It is very sensitive, unstable, (NOT THE SAME!!!), and is just not an effective primary. The physics of it's detonation are much, much less favorable for the initiation of explosive trains than mercury fulminate! Just because you have 10 or even 100 safe experiences with a compound like TATP does not make it any less of a ridiculously sensitive and chemically unstable primary, not to mention it's appalling storage and performance issues. Leave TATP for the Jihadists. It is right up their ally.

caterpillar - 27-1-2012 at 20:56

Unfortunatelly, I cannot get now aforementioned book. Bagal Lev, Chemistry and technology of primary explosives- excuse me my translation. The only bad thing that was told there about AP that it is volatile compaund. I cannot say iif it is stable or not, but it is very effective primer. I woke up AN+fuel with 1 gr of AP without intermediate charge of something more sensitive. At this same discussion one man told same thing. Military applications has their own set of requirements. Yeah, it is the best for terrorists. There are some methods to prepare AP without H2O2 (using perborates or percarbonates for example, which are freely availible).

Pulverulescent - 28-1-2012 at 03:44

The real problem with TATP is its sheer unpredictability . . .
Thanks to this infamous compound, candidates for the DarwinAwards just keep on coming!

P

Neil - 28-1-2012 at 06:10

Quote: Originally posted by Adas  
Quote: Originally posted by caterpillar  
it is less sensitive than mercury fulminate.


Yeah, and the dumbasses still put mercury fulminate into blasting caps instead of using something less sensitive and - most importantly - LESS TOXIC!

TATP is not so sensitive when the 2 surfaces (or just one of them) is not hard - for example, you can hit TATP hard on wooden surface using a glass bottle, and nothing happens - I tested. Even when the wood seems to be a hard surface, it actually isn't.

People tend to overestimate its unstability, because they don't want any terrorists and kids to make it. Even TATP made at room temp is not nearly as sensitive as some sources say.

[Edited on 27-1-2012 by Adas]


I love the one post self KOs to ones rep. You sound like phone with less spelling errors.

People tend to underestimate its sensitivity, you can not reasonably overestimate the chances of being turned to goo.

Adas - 28-1-2012 at 06:36

Neil, I am sorry if you didn't get it the way I thought it.

I meant - if you search on internet, there are things like: "TATP can detonate without a reason or when you sneeze" etc. - this is overestimating.

But, sure, they usually underestimate it while handling it - so many accidents happened, which could have been easily avoided by doing BASIC! safety arrangements. (e.g. - they use sparkler as a fuse + the explosive is not properly covered = detonation by sparks)

[Edited on 28-1-2012 by Adas]

DougTheMapper - 28-1-2012 at 09:09

How frustrating. Why is it that we have to wait until someone kills themselves to prove a point?

See: http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=14934
http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=1570


Quote: Originally posted by DDTea  

You can be empathetic, definitely. It's all very sad.

However, the whole concept of "what not to do" misses the point. Those discussions tend to be along the lines of, "He had an accident because he was drying AP under a heat lamp," or, "Your batch blew up because you were using plastic equipment and a static discharge occurred."

Everyone always thinks that they know more than they do and that accidents won't happen to them. After all, they've read all the "What not to do" accounts/articles and are pretty sure they know what they're doing. Teenagers, especially, have this sort of invincibility complex. Combine that with explosives that will go off with a hair trigger and it's asking for trouble.

But then, we already knew this. So having people blow themselves up as a testament of "what not to do" is the ultimate waste, not the ultimate sacrifice that being a 'martyr' would imply.


Besides, just making AP for practical use isn't doing anything useful for the modern image of the "amateur chemist."

quicksilver - 28-1-2012 at 11:54

An important point is that static of an energy level so small it can barely be felt (or even NOT felt through physical contact) could be enough to initiate TATP under certain conditions and in certain configurations. Therefore the level of professional handling elements necessary to study energetic peroxide can be very acute. It's also not a particularly strong initiator. HMTD was determined to be a powerful initiator but it had so many handling condition demands and very poor shelf life, what little study of it was dropped as it simply was not worth the trouble, risks, and sensitivities. Somewhere on the Forum may be the level (in Joules) of threshold level which differs for the dimer and trimer of TATP.
The studies are available so that curiosity can be satisfied without making a boring sensitive, simplest thing like TATP.

caterpillar - 28-1-2012 at 16:00

Assume, I put 1 gr of AP into thin metal tube. Here it is absolutely protected from static, isn't it? There are different sorts of AP- the dangerous one contents C-O-O-H groups instead of C-O-O-C. I do not think, that AP is especially dangerous primer. I had no incidents with it. Mercury fulminate is more dangerous definitly. I tryed to ignite few miligrams of it with simple match. Crystals exploded when the distance between them and flame was definitely more than 4 mm. Well, what sort of primer is the best?
BTW, I have to repeat- HCl must be used as katalyst, not H2SO4!

Bot0nist - 28-1-2012 at 21:55

No, sulfuric acid will work fine as an acid catalyst, and I've seen it done. It is just not as convenient as HCl because additions must be made dropwise using chilled reagents to prevent temperature rise which decomposes the hydrogen peroxide and can leed to the formation of the the less useful dimer. READ, and site sources before spreading falsehoods please.

Also, never pack an organic peroxide in a metal casing. It is not safe from static and other handling issue, (friction, shock, impact, is it acid free???!!). Doing this is not a smart idea. Move on to real primaries if that's your interest. There are many out there that are MUCH more suitable to your needs and there synthesis's are not as stupid easy as TATP, but if you have half a brain and a desire to learn it's easy.

freedompyro - 28-1-2012 at 23:08

TATP is hazardous stuff... Peroxides instantly go off from the smallest static charges and even the tiniest spark possible. I have used HCL synthesized HMTD for three years on and off. I like the fact you can have ten grams of it light up unconfined and it's just a deflagration. AP has a tendency to have large crystals and recrystallize itself to form larger more sensitive crystals. Leave AP for a week and it will be in a more sensitive form. HMTD is only highly dangerous when it's compacted to a high density or confined.

The only non peroxide primaries I can synthesize are Lead Picrate and DDNP. DDNP is likely the safest primary a amateur can get their hands on. It's initiated reliably with flash. Ag2C2.AgNO3 is hardly safer than a peroxide IMO. What else is there?

I have had a half a gram of HMTD go off a couple times in a cap press but that was just because I was using a hammer instead of a weight. The other time it went off I was compacting it and didn't realize the way I had pre-positioned my fuse was causing the HMTD to flex under HEAVY weight. I wouldn't mess with peroxides without some kind of cap press and blast shield setup. You need to press it to as high of a density as possible to get the best power out of it. Encase it in thin plastic to prevent contact with metals and nitrates/pyro comps.

Why not just use a NPED? There are many ways to initiate secondaries without any need for primarys... Thermite heat shock setups work reliably with some nitrates.

[Edited on 29-1-2012 by freedompyro]

caterpillar - 28-1-2012 at 23:34

It would be interesting to compare lead picrate and AP... As I know, LP is a poor primes. Lead azide is an excellent one, but its prepaartion is not very simple. DDNP is diazodinitrophenyl, isn't it? But its preparation requires 3 stages at least. if you have 1gr of a primer the worst thing what may happen is one, well, up to two thown away fingers. The only real hazardous situation is when you insert a primer into some larger charge.

Detonating urea nitrate

Vikascoder - 29-1-2012 at 00:27

Can 3 grams of TCAP detonate urea nitrate

freedompyro - 29-1-2012 at 00:45

Quote: Originally posted by caterpillar  
if you have 1gr of a primer the worst thing what may happen is one, well, up to two thown away fingers. The only real hazardous situation is when you insert a primer into some larger charge.


Why would you be holding a cap by it's end? Only stupid people get their fingers within a couple inches of a compressed peroxide.

You can use a drop cap for larger charges. Properly designed there is no danger unless the fuse spontaneously ignites...

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