Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Help for a beginner

benbmw - 14-2-2013 at 06:56

Hi, i have recently been interested in making more powerful explosives and have come here for help. I have made allot of pyrotechnic things but mainly with black powder and i saw and read a couple things on HMTD and RDX and i though that it would be fun to be able to make those. I didn't want to try and do anything without getting help from people with much more experience than me. How should i start getting into this kind of stuff?

Adas - 14-2-2013 at 08:35

If you want to start with HMTD, start with few milligrams. But always keep in mind that HMTD easily oxidizes metals or other substances.

KonkreteRocketry - 14-2-2013 at 08:53

Acetone peroxide is not hard to make, flash powders are easy too.

benbmw - 14-2-2013 at 13:35

Ok, where do i get the chemicals for it. i am following this procedure to make it:

And how do you detonate it? wont just lighting it with a fuse not be sufficient?

caterpillar - 14-2-2013 at 15:47

Picric acid is good for beginners. Read corresponding tread at this forum. it has some useful salts too- ammonium picrate, kalium picrate and lead picrate respectively. kalium salt burns quickly, leaving black smoke, but been ignited in confinement it goes off without smoke (well, hardly visible gray clouds). Its sensitivity is something between primaries and typical explosives like TNT. Ammonium salt (compound "D") is less sensitive than TNT and can be mixed with AN. Lead salt is a primer- not very good, but one gr most likely will be enough to wake pressed picric acid up. Therefore, if you have picric acid, you can use it both for primers and as secondary charge. BTW, do not forget gloves. Its yellow color will linger on for long time, just as if you make tattoo "bomb maker".

Simbani - 14-2-2013 at 16:39

Don´t you guys think it´s irresponsible to give someone who clearly don´t know shit about explosives, advises on
which explosives he should try? I´m someone who believes in the freedom of internet and free knowledge for everyone, but giving advises like:
"Acetone peroxide is not hard to make" or even mentoin HMTD is just not right. Everyone with a bit of common sense and maturity knows, that one doesn´t use organic peroxides actively, only for demonstration and such. HMTD did explode without applying force to it, as stated by victims. TATP has killed many or blown of extremities. TATP and HMTD are not suitable for beginners, they tend to be naiv and they just don´t have experiences with this stuff. Afterwards you are always wiser.

If you just "though that it would be fun to be able to make those", than please just let it. You need to know what you´re doing or you´ll maybe never see what your fault was.
If there´s a passion behind it, start by reading around a bit her on SM, read literature! and let you time. If you take your time and use your head, you´ll have a successfull life with HE´s.

Primary: I especially recommend Ag2C2*AgNO3 for beginners, not very sensitive to shock and friction (but very sensitive to static electricity!) and too expensive to use it as a main charge:) Other alternatives are, of course, lead/silver azide, mercury fulminate, DDNP, NHN and several complex salts. Look for yourself.

As a secondary explosive, i recommend ETN and PETN because of good stability and good overall safety (and easy synth.), but of course most sec. HE´s are possible. ANX (where X can be everything from hydrocarbons to metallic fuel) is very cheap and good for getting started. liquid explosives are not that bad as one could think as a beginner, but honestly I wouldn´t start with these.

This hobby is dangerous and costs a bit of money. If you don´t have chemicals, try to buy them in hardware stores or such, for example you only need a silver coin, calcium carbide and maybe 50ml of HNO3 to make quite a bit of Ag2C2*AgNO3. Not that hard to find ;)

benbmw - 14-2-2013 at 17:06

Simbani: Thank you for you concern, this is the kind of help i was looking for and im not planning on actually making these until i have more information like you said. And most hobbies are done for fun and i recognize the danger in it, but im not going to lie and say its for some school project. Im doing it mainly for the fun and learning experience. I have used black powder based "explosives" for a while but i wanted something a bit more powerful and so now i want to get into these types of explosives, and i clearly know very little about them thus my reason for posting in the forums. I just had some unanswered questions but i will search around the forums before bugging you, but i may have questions regarding the exact process of making some of the ones you mentioned and where to get the chemicals(when i decide to make one). This all started when i was looking for a cheaper alternative to tannerite and then found out i could make it, but unfortunately buying the ammonium nitrate is a problem(i cannot find any locally and the stuff online is pretty expensive). But anyway thanks for all the help and advice!

IanCaio - 14-2-2013 at 17:34

Agree with Simbani.

Specially about Acetone Peroxide, it might be charming thinking about synthesizing it because of the more easily obtained chemmicals, but its a dangerous compound, really sensible to chock, specially if not correctly made. I would recommend you to stay alway from it in the beggining. It's storage is also a problem, since it degradates with time (and I'm not sure if it actually makes it more sensible).

Ral123 - 15-2-2013 at 00:46

I don't see why is the focus so much on the exact compounds used. The stability of LA and DS will increase the chances of the novice to become experienced without incidents, but are far from safe. Trained people in the industry blow themselves up with commercial products. The safety procedures should be the same with all primaries. Fingers of a novice should be away from any primary at all times as a rule.

What should a beginner do then?

Forumdude - 15-2-2013 at 18:56

What should we beginners do then , if we shouldn't make primary's what is the point of making energetic materials?

Motherload - 15-2-2013 at 19:52

Performing a nitration (without runaways) is one of the basic skills you will need to make a good chunk of energetics.
One that comes to mind that a beginner can get the "feel" of things is Cellulose Nitrate.
I can't perceive a detonation danger if there was a runaway ... Your acids will spew copious amounts of NOx if temperature isn't monitored.
The substrate to be nitrated is globally abundant and WFNA is not required.
H2SO4 and a nitrate will suffice .... Although the Nitrogen content of the final product may not be as high.
Cellulose nitrate is a secondary ... Although not the most powerful one but a good experiment to venture into energetics.

The point is to learn and gain practical knowledge on energetics that are less likely to prevent you from even scratching your ass let alone make more energetics.
It's like learning how to drive ..... You start in a parking lot.
What's the point to drive if you are going to drive in a parking lot ??
To learn how to drive practically ... The theory is easy.
I won't suggest a new driver to drag race to learn how to drive.

[Edited on 16-2-2013 by Motherload]

Forumdude - 15-2-2013 at 20:12

Sorry my last post didnt make sense haha I didnt know benbmw didnt know how to do a nitration.

Motherload - 15-2-2013 at 21:55

I never said he/she couldn't do a nitration.
It's just a good starting point for beginners in the energetics field.
Gun cotton is very forgiving if a runaway should occur .... As detonation is unlikely but one would still be around to clean up the mess and remember where they screwed up.

My rules regarding a hobby esp like energetics.
1). Don't screw up
2). If you did screw up .... Remember it and learn from it ... If are still around.
3). If you screw up again regarding the same situation .... Pick up knitting or something as a hobby while you still have fine motor skills.. You'll be safer.

As a piece of advice .... Every beginner should read ... throughly ...Yamato's thread about "life after detonation" it's a sticky.

[Edited on 16-2-2013 by Motherload]