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Author: Subject: Detonation of erythritol tetranitrate (ETN) with heated aluminum
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[*] posted on 16-1-2014 at 03:14


Sorry for incomplete informations..

Green string is 2mm visco fuse and foil is aluminum foil for cooking.
Aluminium powder increase ETN sensibility (i think not in chemical therms but helps heat transmission).
ETN must to be packed airtight.

A common problem that involves only deflagration can be:
1) ETN not well packed
2) visco fuse during burning make a hole in the ETN containing foil
3) visco fuse burning can't generate a lot of heat

You can put inside more pieces of visco fuse than the illustrated in picture, this increase the heat generated helping detonation success
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[*] posted on 16-1-2014 at 06:00


Some mgr of HMTD sounds better than all of that...
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[*] posted on 16-1-2014 at 06:57


HMTD is an organic peroxide, avoid to use them.
Also, it is extremely sensitive to friction.
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[*] posted on 16-1-2014 at 07:26


The Al also burns, because ETN has a + oxygen balance at detonation.



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[*] posted on 16-1-2014 at 08:01


It is said that AL decrease the performance of ETN
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[*] posted on 17-1-2014 at 03:24


true, underground.. it doesnt take part in the detonation but rather in the gas cloud after the detonation
however, a person i know to have initiated ETN with simply standard visco fuse tried adding red phosphorus, he says it shortens the DDT alot, unconfined.. perhaps this could be useful if a source of phosphorus was found?

otherwise, other thread about ETN i described overkill of ETN using rocket candy mashed into thin plastic tubes (straws?)

if you overkill it you will find it reliable

not to mention blackpowder and other slowburning compositions should work aswell

EBW also, and PVC hose filled with rocket candy, hole cut in side and 0.5g ETN packed in al foil inserted in hole then taped has proven to work 100 / 100 times (supposing author actually tried this 100 times)

perhaps flying fish fuse or similar? (a fuse containing slowburning star composition)
anyhow 3 sparklers with 0.6g ETN wrapped around it in al foil should give you some result




~25 drops = 1mL @dH2O viscocity - STP
Truth is ever growing - but without context theres barely any such.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility_table
http://www.trimen.pl/witek/calculators/stezenia.html
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[*] posted on 20-1-2014 at 14:50


I think the setup would work better if the visco attached to rocket fuel because I've seen that get very hot easily melting wood in a short space of time, thanks will come up with a reliable etn detonater shortly nd reply back in a couple of days. Thanks
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[*] posted on 20-1-2014 at 19:12


Try silicon powder and KNO3. Search in YT for 10 finger club video, it has a diagram of a NPED that was almost to the point of being reliable but barely just not there. It is something that ought to be studied and researched.

I made NPED's that worked 4/5 times.

BTW, I believe MHN would be a better explosive for heatshock detonating than ETN.
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[*] posted on 21-1-2014 at 10:25


Thanks, I can't find OTC silicone powder though :(


image.jpg - 29kB
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[*] posted on 21-1-2014 at 11:21


if the visco would be attached to the rocket fuel and the aluminium foil containing ETN would be wrapped around you would either need a long piece of rocket candy (danger of it breaking apart) or a shittonne of luck or hatred for reliability

the fuse would run near the ETN/Al foil and make it blow apart in 0.01g amounts effectively destroying the charge and blowing the fuse apart / away

also.. silicone i dont recall being available OTC, its used for pyrotechnics, unless if you live in EU then i dont know where you can get it; simply try pyro sites, the setup looks more tricky and i just dont feel reliability in fuse to KNO3/Silicon..
i tried KNO3/silicon just because why not packed in al foil and i was using wrong ratios, although it didnt seem very heat sensitive so you need something like a sparkler or star composition at the tip of the fuse to get decently reliable ignition, not to mention to keep in mind that you dont want the fuse to get TOO wet as this will also have a go at the reliability




~25 drops = 1mL @dH2O viscocity - STP
Truth is ever growing - but without context theres barely any such.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility_table
http://www.trimen.pl/witek/calculators/stezenia.html
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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 01:08


I simply used kno3/sugar ball milled for an hour or so and used the diagram above, I can't say reliable but worked 3 out of 4 times and the time it didn't work I didn't compress the kno3/sugar to the packed etn
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[*] posted on 27-6-2014 at 23:14


I have a few mini rocket motors. I can stuff a mini Al foil capsule containing ETN in them. Is that enough heat ?



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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 13:14
ETN NPED Challenge


Okay. That's it. I'm dragging out this thread. Going to study ETNs fascinating thermal idiosyncrasies in effort hammer down ETN DDT.

First step, working out foil phenomenon since it's an experience that pretty much every ETN user goes through.

First questions to understand are:

1) To what degree is foil ddt phenomenon permitted because of material interaction?
1a) Is foil ddt replicated on other metal foil surfaces that are non-Al?
1b) Is foil ddt replicated on non-foil Al surfaces, such as heated bar stock?
1c) Can foil ddt be replicated on any other thin foil-like surface other than metal? ie. ceramic/glass/plastics/kapton/metalloids/oxides

2) What are the circumstance under which ETN reliably DOES NOT ddt, where it seems to nearly always deflagrate and never detonate?

That's what to attack first: "where is the ETN ddt, where is it not."
Will be conducting some tests. Will post results.
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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 15:28


Thanks for finding this thread Hey Buddy.

Since ETN is my (currently) my preferred booster energetic and all my attempts at melt-casting ETN were so far done in plastic pen bodies (which I learned aren't good enough), I will be doing melt-casting ETN in steel tubes and brass shell casings. I want to know if using an aluminum tube for melt-casting ETN poses danger of detonation? I melt cast by putting the case in water heated to the melting point of ETN, which is around 65C.

I asked this question previously. I just want reconfirmation.
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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 15:38


Quote: Originally posted by ManyInterests  
Thanks for finding this thread Hey Buddy.

Since ETN is my (currently) my preferred booster energetic and all my attempts at melt-casting ETN were so far done in plastic pen bodies (which I learned aren't good enough), I will be doing melt-casting ETN in steel tubes and brass shell casings. I want to know if using an aluminum tube for melt-casting ETN poses danger of detonation? I melt cast by putting the case in water heated to the melting point of ETN, which is around 65C.

I asked this question previously. I just want reconfirmation.


If no one else has an answer, I can just test this for you. Will be in lab tonight, have Al 8mm casings and ETN and Al powder. I can melt a 50:50 Al/ETN mix and straight ETN both in aluminum 8mm casings?

edit: how do you melt the case in water? in end-closed aluminum cases directly submerged into water or casings inside a test tube in water?

[Edited on 17-11-2022 by Hey Buddy]
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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 15:45


Take good care... and please take precaution in case something goes wrong. ETN is pretty powerful stuff.
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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 15:51


Quote: Originally posted by ManyInterests  
Take good care... and please take precaution in case something goes wrong. ETN is pretty powerful stuff.


I wear body armor and helmet, faceshield. ear protection, kevlar gloves, use heavy pavers as blast shield etc.

See above edited question on how you are melting so I can replicate?

EDIT: I see your response below. Im just responding here to avoid new post. --I dont think I have closed end casings in Al. I do have SS closed end casings, I can do a 50:50 aluminum/etn in SS body in water. Aluminum casing will have higher emissivity than SS but it will simulate it well with intermixed Al. I will take temp up higher than ETN mp, maybe about 85 C or so, that way it will be well past the mp and simulate a more extreme environment than you intend to use.

--Yes. ETN is an angry ex wife in melt phase. The first time I made ETN, I was more naive then, and used to hammer test and then Al foil burn test, HOLDING THE FOIL from the fingers. After my introduction to ETN, that test procedure got changed quick. I didn't know about SM then. ETN in melt phase under a 2.5 kg drop hammer, goes from 14 cm impact height down to 1 cm. Possibly even a little under 1. It's among the most sensitive explosives in melt phase. Some people are comfortable with pouring/handling it with their human hands, but personally, I would recommend not moving the explosive in melt phase and letting it melt and cool in place, as a general safety. You can lessen cooling time by reducing the mass of water. Its sensitivity is reverted back to normal sensitivity as soon as it's all the way back in solid phase.

If it needs to be poured, I recommend making a pouring crucible that gives a little standoff with a wooden stick, (no metal). That way if you make a mistake, there is a small bit of standoff to avoid the primary blast injury. Wooden splinters are so low mass they aren't generally that bad. I used to do a lot of explosive breaching in a previous life, and breachers using detcord commonly get wooden door fragments in the skin in face/neck and wrists from controlled detonations, some douglas fir doors really splinter and depending on standoff, it kind of looks like you tried to hug a porcupine. 2ndary blast injury fragments, hearing, etc are no joke either but they are much less devastating long term than a primary blast injury which will roast beef your anything, assuming you survive an accidental detonation in a lab.

Attachment: ETN MELT CAST SENSITIVITY CHAVEZ.pdf (295kB)
This file has been downloaded 17 times

[Edited on 18-11-2022 by Hey Buddy]
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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 16:46


I heat the water in a beaker on my heating mantle until it hits 65C and then I use a small three prong clamp to keep part of the case up while I submerge the lower part (where the ETN is) in the water. It takes around 5 or 6 minutes for everything to fully melt. The plastic pen body I used took around 6:30 to 7:00 minutes to melt, a metal case will probably take 5 minutes or so due to the superior thermal conductivity of the metal.

After they melt, I gently remove the case and set it aside for to cool down to room temp. I wait around 25 minutes or so. Give it 30 minutes if you're using metal since I don't know how long it'll take to fully cool back down and solidify. But once you remove it and set it aside it should already be safe from detonation since it is already cooling down the moment you remove it. But take precaution anyway. ETN is much more sensitive when melted.
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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 17:40


Quote: Originally posted by ManyInterests  
I heat the water in a beaker on my heating mantle until it hits 65C and then I use a small three prong clamp to keep part of the case up while I submerge the lower part (where the ETN is) in the water. It takes around 5 or 6 minutes for everything to fully melt. The plastic pen body I used took around 6:30 to 7:00 minutes to melt, a metal case will probably take 5 minutes or so due to the superior thermal conductivity of the metal.

After they melt, I gently remove the case and set it aside for to cool down to room temp. I wait around 25 minutes or so. Give it 30 minutes if you're using metal since I don't know how long it'll take to fully cool back down and solidify. But once you remove it and set it aside it should already be safe from detonation since it is already cooling down the moment you remove it. But take precaution anyway. ETN is much more sensitive when melted.


How do you seal the output end (the end with the ETN) from water? I use a similar process and have never had an issue. I seal the output end of my brass or copper tubes with compressed aluminium foil, so while it is not an aluminium tube the molten ETN is in contact with aluminium.
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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 17:49


Quote: Originally posted by Hey Buddy  
Okay. That's it. I'm dragging out this thread. Going to study ETNs fascinating thermal idiosyncrasies in effort hammer down ETN DDT.

First step, working out foil phenomenon since it's an experience that pretty much every ETN user goes through.

First questions to understand are:

1) To what degree is foil ddt phenomenon permitted because of material interaction?
1a) Is foil ddt replicated on other metal foil surfaces that are non-Al?
1b) Is foil ddt replicated on non-foil Al surfaces, such as heated bar stock?
1c) Can foil ddt be replicated on any other thin foil-like surface other than metal? ie. ceramic/glass/plastics/kapton/metalloids/oxides

2) What are the circumstance under which ETN reliably DOES NOT ddt, where it seems to nearly always deflagrate and never detonate?

That's what to attack first: "where is the ETN ddt, where is it not."
Will be conducting some tests. Will post results.


I look forward to the results. I had read this thread previously and have also tried with ETN on aluminium foil and had it detonate, though not until it is way above its melting point. I suspect there is nothing special about aluminium other than its commonality as a foil and good heat transfer properties. I expect copper or silver foil would act the same.
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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 18:41


Quote: Originally posted by B(a)P  
I look forward to the results. I had read this thread previously and have also tried with ETN on aluminium foil and had it detonate, though not until it is way above its melting point. I suspect there is nothing special about aluminium other than its commonality as a foil and good heat transfer properties. I expect copper or silver foil would act the same.


After observing explosions resulting from placing small quantities of such things as nitroglycerin or 70% NG ammonia gelignite on a STEEL sheet metal surface, then placing a low output propane burner underneath? I tend to agree that a slow cook off without direct flame contact may cause such things to detonate that otherwise would just burn harmlessly if touched by the flame (or otherwise do very little).

The experiences of unlucky (and feet partially missing) soldiers who used a few grams of C4 pinched off a bar of demo explosive & ignited as a field expedient ration heater, then foolishly tried to "stomp out" whatever burning residue was left after their meal was sufficiently warm are instructive as well.

Supply a good bit of activation energy environmentally, don't be surprised when the pussycat turns into a hungry tiger.

[Edited on 11-18-2022 by Bert]




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[*] posted on 17-11-2022 at 22:56


I have even see. AN mixtures DDT. The trick is finding the right size and ratio of AL powder. Try this, ETN 60 parts, Al 3 micron 20 parts, potassium perchlorate 20 parts and hexamine 5 parts. Have a loose powder of 2 grams fully sealed in a metal tube. That might do it :)
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[*] posted on 18-11-2022 at 13:01


Quote: Originally posted by ManyInterests  
I want to know if using an aluminum tube for melt-casting ETN poses danger of detonation? I melt cast by putting the case in water heated to the melting point of ETN, which is around 65C.

I asked this question previously. I just want reconfirmation.


It is perfectly safe

https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/viewthread.php?tid=14...

Edit: Use boiling water. Not 65... It takes time to fully melt and the water temperatures drops. Press the ETN to increase its heat conductivity and melt speed. If your water container is small and your cast big add boiling water until it overflows. If looking down the tube you see a sinkhole and not a flat surface you didnt use enough hot water. There's no need to remove the tubes from the water while anything is hot or molten. Just come back later when the water is cold.

[Edited on 18-11-2022 by Herr Haber]




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[*] posted on 18-11-2022 at 13:31


Quote: Originally posted by Bert  


The experiences of unlucky (and feet partially missing) soldiers who used a few grams of C4 pinched off a bar of demo explosive & ignited as a field expedient ration heater, then foolishly tried to "stomp out" whatever burning residue was left after their meal was sufficiently warm are instructive as well.

[Edited on 11-18-2022 by Bert]


Never heard about that but heard that the soldiers quicky noticed breathing the fumes of burning C4 was not good for health.




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[*] posted on 18-11-2022 at 13:36


Quote: Originally posted by Hey Buddy  
Quote: Originally posted by ManyInterests  
Thanks for finding this thread Hey Buddy.

Since ETN is my (currently) my preferred booster energetic and all my attempts at melt-casting ETN were so far done in plastic pen bodies (which I learned aren't good enough), I will be doing melt-casting ETN in steel tubes and brass shell casings. I want to know if using an aluminum tube for melt-casting ETN poses danger of detonation? I melt cast by putting the case in water heated to the melting point of ETN, which is around 65C.

I asked this question previously. I just want reconfirmation.


If no one else has an answer, I can just test this for you. Will be in lab tonight, have Al 8mm casings and ETN and Al powder. I can melt a 50:50 Al/ETN mix and straight ETN both in aluminum 8mm casings?

edit: how do you melt the case in water? in end-closed aluminum cases directly submerged into water or casings inside a test tube in water?

[Edited on 17-11-2022 by Hey Buddy]



What I did was use a bic round stick pen body to fill in the ETN (1 gram) and then gently press it to compact all the powder and then place it in the hot water until it is all melted. I usually keep it in for 7 minutes. The fact that the pen body is transparent, you can monitor the melting quite closely and know when it is done. After that I gently remove it and I put it in a foam yoga block with holes drilled in it to let it rest until the ETN has fully cooled and solidified.

I haven't used a non-closed end tube yet. Though I did buy some stainless steel drinking draws and I did crimp and bend the other end. The tiny bit of exposed opening was then sealed with liquid electrical tape.

I will probably use those last, as I do have some very lengthy and voluminous cartridge cases with closed ends (the spent primer is blocking it) and I do have some 8x50mm stainless steel tubes that are already sealed on the other end. I can use those to make 0.5g ETN + 0.4g NHN caps, I got some 8x100ml steel tubes ordered and should be here within a month, that is as long as I need it to make a powerful detonator that should reliably detonate fully.
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