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markx
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[*] posted on 15-5-2014 at 01:25


Quote: Originally posted by Turner  
I also want to find out more on the casting of explosives.
If you are going to cast ETN use nothing but a hot water bath and a plastic container for the ETN. 15g or less can be casted this way safely I suppose if the ETN is neutral and recrystalized. I suspect that large amounts of molten ETN (50g or more) would be more prone to spontaneous detonation, I don't know why this is however


An example of a use for cast explosive is pentolite boosters used for ANFO in blasting industry.

I tried making a cast of TNT (15g) by melting it under water that was heated by hotplate. It turned out OK. I did not try making a cast by melting the material dry though .



I would comfortably heat a beaker full of TNT heated by water bath until all material is molten and pour this into a mold



Process for preparing pentolite:

http://www.google.com/patents/US2395341



When considering a cast charge it would be wise to note that the critical diameter will usually be larger compared to a pressed charge. This can lead to failure on initiation if the dimensions are too close to the critical value. This in turn will mean a repetition of the casting process, putting the operator in harms way again. A practice that I would advise strongly against in amateur settings, especially with a sensitive group of substances like nitric esters.




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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 03:26


Finally worked out a working method for ETN.
Pour 60ml of 91% sulfuric acid into a conical flask and cool it using an ice bath! then slowly add 30g of potassium nitrate with swirling of the flask, waiting for it to cool down after each addition.
After swirling, get a stirring rod and break down all the bits of potassium sulfate into smaller pieces.
Swirl again and leave for 5 mins then transfer the liquid to another conical flask, making sure not to transfer any solids.
Then take off the ice bath and slowly add 8 grams of Erythritol to this slowly!
Swirl it and leave it for about 3 hours and it will thicken up then, stir it with a rod and wash out with water into 500ml water, stir and filter.

Recrystallisation may be necessary.
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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 04:21


Re crystallize it for sure. Just to eliminate any trapped acids and for purity sake. Unless you are planning to use it within a couple of days but even if you are going to use it quickly you still could recrystallize it for practice



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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 04:34


How much ethanol should I use to recrystallise?
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Turner
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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 05:50


Around 15g:100ml ethanol
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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 12:31


That seems like a lot, what a waste of precious ethanol!
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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 13:41


Just boil an amount of ethanol and see how much ETN can dissolve then you will have a definite answer.


Liquid HE's = no recrystalization solvents needed
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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 14:28


I recently have been exploring HEs and the chemistry behind them, but have run into a problem. Basically, I cant set them off due to not having access to commercial blasting caps( Who would've thought?) . I realized I might have to make my own, but this seems very dangerous and possibly too expensive. I have been reading a lot about primaries and improvised blasting caps , etc. and cant decide on what to do. Optimistically I figured I could make a miniature aluminum melting oven with firebricks, a graphite crucible etc. , cast a blasting cap, fill it with lead azide and cyclonite and be done. Though when researching this I discovered this wouldn't be as simple as I thought. First, I found a castiing and metalworking website and looked into making my own aluminum casting setup, but this seems VERY dangerous for obvious reasons for things such as fumes, the fact you are handling molten metal with metal tongs , etc. I also searched for lead azide syntheses and saw and article of someone dying from ingesting one gram...ONE GRAM! I don't plan on eating it obviously, but what would several grams do to your skin? I know that several members on here detonate HEs which require blasting caps but they never seem to explain how. I know this isn't an explosive-focused site but I would rather take advice about HEs here than anywhere else. I am only 14, and I don't know if I'm even capable of safely handling these things...



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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 14:40


A better method for setting off secondaries may be using small firecrackers. I know where I live I can get them(illegally) for cheap near halloween, I might stock up on them.
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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 14:44


Where I live I can get very powerful firecrackers that are two inches long and half an inch thick (legally?) but I cant see them setting off things like gelatin dynamite and other things I plan making in the future. I plan on using cyclonite as a base charge by the way. I would very much prefer not making primaries at all as they are either very dangerous or a complete pain to make.

[Edited on 17-5-2014 by TheAlchemistPirate]

[Edited on 18-5-2014 by TheAlchemistPirate]




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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 15:41


Firecrackers usually can't create enough pressure at the wave front because FP burns too slow. Even though firecrackers can sound pretty snappy and sharp, it is not a reliable initiation of secondary explosives.


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[*] posted on 17-5-2014 at 15:46


You can use it to set off ETN which would set off whatever you want then.

ETN can be used as a primary wrapped in aluminium foil and rapidly heated, it is very stable and has a very long shelf life.
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[*] posted on 18-5-2014 at 15:50


Just starting to experiment with EM, and decided to try potassium chlorate. I put as small quantity in a test tube(1-2g) and held the test tube using a clamp and heat resistant gloves. I heated the chlorate with a propane torch until it melted, then put a small amount of sugar into the tube. It started as I expected, then when it just started to get going, the bottom of the PYREX test tube fell out with molten liquid dripping out of it(it looked like glass). Is it normal for borosilicate glass to break like this, or were the test tubes low quality?
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[*] posted on 19-5-2014 at 11:48


Quote: Originally posted by gdflp  
Just starting to experiment with EM, and decided to try potassium chlorate. I put as small quantity in a test tube(1-2g) and held the test tube using a clamp and heat resistant gloves. I heated the chlorate with a propane torch until it melted, then put a small amount of sugar into the tube. It started as I expected, then when it just started to get going, the bottom of the PYREX test tube fell out with molten liquid dripping out of it(it looked like glass). Is it normal for borosilicate glass to break like this, or were the test tubes low quality?


I Think so...

I ran PROPEP3 code with this assuming chlorate:sugar ratio was 2:1, and at melting point of potassium chlorate, the combustion temperature was around 3500 degree celsius or more.
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[*] posted on 19-5-2014 at 13:35


Yes gdflp that is normal, KClO3 + Sugar mix will create a lot of heat.

A brilliant method for setting off ETN is to get a thick cardboard tube from the inside of Aluminium foil rolls and to block off the bottom and pour a little bit of wax to block it off.

After the wax hardens I added KNO3/Sugar mixture in a 60:40 ratio and wrapped a few grams of ETN tightly in Aluminium foil and pressed on it to remove air, the aluminium with ETN is then inserted into the corner in the cardboard on top of the KNO3/sugar
A fuse is inserted into the KNO3/sugar



Cardboard tube

Wax melted to hold contents

Arial view of the tube

This method worked for me 6/6 times that I have tried this, the ETN needs to be tightly packed.
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[*] posted on 20-5-2014 at 04:44


Yes, it's not unusual to have even Pyrex glassware break or melt from extremes of temperature- an organically fueled pyrotechnic mixture can do this, a metal fueled mix could easily melt steel, let alone Pyrex. The "gummy bear demo" works as it does partly because the fuel is a single "chunk", adding the fuel as a fine powder greatly speeds the reaction.

Try this (outdoors on a fireproof surface and wearing hand, face & eye protection!):

Mix a SMALL amount (1 gram total is PLENTY) of Potassium chlorate with table sugar in a 70:30 ratio (.7g chlorate:.3g sugar). Mix by placing on a sheet of paper and rolling it around by alternately lifting corners of the sheet, not by stirring with a hard object. Place the mix in a little pile on a brick or tile. Take a glass rod and dip it into concentrated sulfuric acid, then touch the pile with the acid wetted rod or drip a single drop of the acid onto the pile.

Stand back and observe- the pile will crackle, evolve gas and probably ignite. If you used powdered sugar (DON'T) and mixed it thoroughly, it may even explode.




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[*] posted on 25-5-2014 at 18:10
Detonation of wet HE


So I did a few hammer tests with (150-200mg) solid chunks of cast ETN. I noticed that as soon as these pieces are wetted with water, they become insensitive to even a hard hammer hit. The times I have plasticized ETN I can still fairly easily hammer detonate 50mg pieces, but even with this little amount wet with water is insensitive to hammer.

I wonder if a mass of damp crystalline ETN (10% water by weight) could detonate from the force of a no. 8 detonator.

Could a mass of solid, cast pentolite detonate reliably even if there was water in the cap-well?



[Edited on 26-5-2014 by Turner]




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[*] posted on 29-5-2014 at 14:15


Damp ETN can easily go off with a detonator. In fact, water is sometimes used in explosives to make the detonation wave travel at a more consistent rate.

What do you mean by cap well?




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[*] posted on 29-5-2014 at 14:39


With a solid cast melt explosive charge, the hole in the center for the detonator.



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[*] posted on 29-5-2014 at 20:24


Some time ago when i first made ETN, i was impatient and couldn't wait to set it off. This batch was still slightly damp and it still did detonate with its usual fury. it was damp to the level that if you squeezed some together it would all stick and hold its shape but still went off well. Another fact that ensured detonation was i went overkill with the initiator using 2.5g HMTD to set off 11g of loosely packed ETN. There was no trace of the half cinder block piece the charge was placed on.
As for water in the cap well i dont see why that should hinder a detonation as the cap well is only big enough for the cap so in placing that in the well you would push out a lot of the water anyway.




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[*] posted on 31-5-2014 at 15:44


I was toying with a neodymium magnet and wondered if a nearby gold plated coffee filter would be attracted to and it was. I have some gold plated nickel wire and I just became curious what the base metal might be on the filter.

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/frieling-23-karat-gold-plat...
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[*] posted on 13-6-2014 at 17:03


Is the specific gravity of liquids affected by altitude?

edit---oops, wrong quick questions thread!! (I did UTFSE, but didn't realize there were two quick questions threads, energetics ain't my thing)

[Edited on 6-14-2014 by arkoma]




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[*] posted on 14-6-2014 at 06:25


This is not directly related to energetics but I don't think it requires a new thread somewhere else..
I can't find any info reguarding electrolysis of concentrated H3PO4.
I am hoping it will yield at least some P2O5 dissolved in H3PO4.




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[*] posted on 14-6-2014 at 13:58


Will pure H3PO4 conduct electricity? Surely there must be some water in it to create ions, and then you won't get any P2O5.
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[*] posted on 15-6-2014 at 10:50


H3PO4 cannot be distilled past 85% .... Anymore heating and it turns into meta phosphoric acid HPO3 which is a solid.



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