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Author: Subject: High-order flash powder?
Fulmen
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[*] posted on 16-9-2016 at 02:41


Sorry, I have no Idea where to begin. It was 25 years ago...



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[*] posted on 16-9-2016 at 04:06


Quote: Originally posted by MineMan  
Philou. Did you perform impact and friction tests on your potassium chlorate, sulfur and charcoal mix? How many grams did you use to destroy the 5mm steel pipe? Would you feel safe causally mixing up 2-5 grams of this mixture. Since it can be made in the field it would not need to be stored!

Chlorates sure are sensitive...especially with NM...


Chlorate with NM are not very sensitive...NM is not acidic enough to generate sensitivity troubles with chlorate and chlorate is not basic enough to increase sensitivity of NM...so the sensitivity is only ruled by the NM as if it was alone.

About my brisant chlorate mix...I did it into the 200 g range...electric coffee grinding of KClO3 on one side to a fine powder and S (flower of S) /CaCO3 (chalk for black board writing) on the other side...then incorporating the C black of fume into the fine KClO3 and finally integrating the fine grinded S/CaCO3....the mix was deep black and had the consistency of flour...it was also quite light and obviously full of air.

Never made friction or impact test on it only straw fuse test and both end open Copper pipe (3 cm height*3 cm diameter).
The fuse of 2mm diameter and 30 cm long burned in less than 1/2 second...usually it burns in about 20-30 seconds...
The open Copper pipe detonated with loose powder unpacked...about two-three large tea spoon (approx 15-25g)...one open end put on argileous ground the other receiving a normal plastic drink straw fuse containing slow burning (ungrinded) chlorate/S/C (charcoal not black of fumes)/CaCO3 mix

The galvanized iron-steel pipe was about 20 cm long and 4 cm diameter with screew cap...one 3mm hole drilled onto the side with slow plastic burning drinking straw fuse...the pipe contained about 200 g of the loose mix.
Since the mix is so powefull, I never had need to compact it...also knowing that Pirat bangers are about 2/3 to 3/4 empty of powder...it was useless.

If I redo that mix I will for sure do more tests about sensitivity to friction, shock, power vs common HE, lead block test, brisance by sand crushing, etc

[Edited on 16-9-2016 by PHILOU Zrealone]




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[*] posted on 16-9-2016 at 08:57


Good info! Philou, don't know how else to convince you, but 60 parts KCLO3 20Parts NM 10 parts Al powder(2 micron) and nitrocellulose to gel the mixture is quite sensative to impact. Try it yourself :)

What were the ratios you used for your mixture? Is the KCLO3 and sulfur only very sensitive because of the acid from the impure sulfur..? Or does that only make it worse?
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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 16-9-2016 at 10:19


There is more than velocity to consider when determining the output of an explosive.

The most important factors are density, volume of gas produced per weight of explosive, energy released, and detonation velocity.

It wouldn't really matter even if some flash mixture was able to truly detonate. Even the best flashes barely approach the velocities of the weakest high explosives, and many of the byproducts of flash are high-MP solids like Al2O3, K2CO3, KCl, and others, while most HEs completely disappear into low-BP gases with extremely high vapor pressures.

Most flash powders are mixtures that can be "dead-pressed," which is to say that there is a maximum acceptable pressing density after which the velocity of combustion actually slows down. Many firework fountains and rockets are flash mixtures pressed strongly into a tube to reduce the burn rate. A true HE cannot be dead pressed and in fact detonates best at full theoretical density, since maximum density is a virtue to the mechanics of detonation in the first place. If you were to find a flash mixture that was detonable, it would likely struggle to perform as standard flash, and vice versa. This is why devices designed to achieve DDT are either multicomponent trains incorporating come degree of confinement (which is less preferable because of complexity and margin for manufacturing error), or single compounds with quasi-HE properties known to accelerate to full detonation almost immediately without confinement like lead azide, DDNP, mercury fulminate, etc. As a dead-press-able mixture, flash powder will have a hard time fulfilling either of these roles.

Either way, the comparatively low output potential of flash powders, regardless of DDT, is insufficient in almost all cases to reliably initiate high-order detonation in most secondary explosives and is thus a poor choice of initiator filling, even for something as sensitive as NG or EGDN. You would either scatter your charge about, or initiate a rapid deflagration or low-order detonation of your secondary which may eventually accelerate to full detonation, but much of the output will have been lost. This may not be detectable to the naked eye or ear, but will show dramatically against a witness plate. A brisant detonator is essential to gain maximum output from your secondary. Regardless of its ability to achieve DDT, flash powder will always be a poor choice as an initiator.




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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 16-9-2016 at 13:37


The performance doesn't have to be that great if it's used in combination with a safer and less sensitive primary. Once you include primary explosives that doesn't reliably ignite from flame alone your options multiply.



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[*] posted on 16-9-2016 at 14:59


Quote: Originally posted by MineMan  
Good info! Philou, don't know how else to convince you, but 60 parts KCLO3 20Parts NM 10 parts Al powder(2 micron) and nitrocellulose to gel the mixture is quite sensative to impact. Try it yourself :)


I've found that hammer testing can be a decieving thing, it's not a good way to judge practical sensitivity in my opinion.

Even TNT will give a nice pop in a hammer test if you hit it just right.
At the same time I've had trouble getting much more sensitive explosives to go requiring a dozen or more hits.

Crystal size/structure, the density of the EM, the amount of EM being tested and most importantly how squarely you hit it are factors in how hard of a blow it'll take.
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[*] posted on 16-9-2016 at 16:28


Quote: Originally posted by Fulmen  
The performance doesn't have to be that great if it's used in combination with a safer and less sensitive primary. Once you include primary explosives that doesn't reliably ignite from flame alone your options multiply.


Nearly everyone here is missing my point.... Which it to make a legal detonator which can be made on site. I know flash is not the best option, but it is the LEGAL option. If there are other binary, trinary, or the such mixtures other than flash that have potential than that works to... I just don't know of any... Except sodium benzoate mixtures.

Primary's are NOT legal to transport.
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[*] posted on 16-9-2016 at 17:38


Are you utterly wedded to the concept of a blasting cap type functionality?

That AMONAL exploding target was designed to be fired by IMPACT. You could certainly make a small "slapper" device, with either a high voltage discharge or a conventional propellant to get the impactor moving.

Think outside your box. Please do not end up inside one, though!




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[*] posted on 16-9-2016 at 18:32


I wonder how ammonium benzoate would perform in place of sodium benzoate, I assume it would be more powerful.
Obviously NH4ClO3 would be a big concern with any mixture involving an ammonium compound and a chlorate so that's not an option.

Have you considered ammonium perchlorate mixtures?
I'm actually pretty curious what NH4ClO4/ammonium benzoate would do.
Potassium/sodium is just dead weight, the extra gas and energy output that the NH4 provides could make a big difference.

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[*] posted on 17-9-2016 at 04:30


Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys  
A true HE cannot be dead pressed and in fact detonates best at full theoretical density, since maximum density is a virtue to the mechanics of detonation in the first place.


"Dead pressing" for HEs is about sensitivity not VoD. Mercury fulminate is a primary and can be dead pressed. Voids tend to make high explosives more sensitive, this is what microballoons are for.
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PHILOU Zrealone
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[*] posted on 17-9-2016 at 16:09


Quote: Originally posted by MineMan  
Good info! Philou, don't know how else to convince you, but 60 parts KCLO3 20Parts NM 10 parts Al powder(2 micron) and nitrocellulose to gel the mixture is quite sensative to impact. Try it yourself :)

What were the ratios you used for your mixture? Is the KCLO3 and sulfur only very sensitive because of the acid from the impure sulfur..? Or does that only make it worse?

So your formula is:
60 KClO3
20 NM
10 Al powder (2µm)
?? NC
(I suppose the NC is 10)

I know NM and NC do form an explosive gel but it is not too sensitive on its own...but of course if adsorbed onto a solid...the sensitivity may increase...
It may look paradoxal since I know that Kieselghur earth of diatomaecius is stabilizing NG into dynamite...but usually in practical tests NG is adsorbed into a textile/fabric stuff to do impact tests...otherwise it is often splashed all over the testing place without explosion.
Maybe it has to do with capillarity forces holding the liquid sample into place (reduction of the diffusion that otherwise would allow the sample to dissipate impact energy) or bubbles entrapped (increasing sensitivity) or friction of impact against the solid with a thin layer of liquid on top?

So here maybe the moderately sensitive gellified explosive becomes more sensitive to impact and friction owing to the solid Al/KClO3...this hypothesis remains to be tested comparatively to further confirm or infirm.

Also of significant importance, the % of nitration of the NC...the higher it is the higher the sensitivity...

The ratios of my mix came from an obscure reading out of an old pyrotechnic book...it was used for mines during the first WW owing to its brisance.
75 KClO3
12,5 S
12,5 C
I was very surprised to notice it was the same ratio as usual black powder (75 KNO3/ 12,5 S / 12,5 C).

The sensitivity comes mainly from three factors:
1°) the low decomposition T° of KClO3 setting pure O2 free...this temperature is lowered by catalyst...what may be mineral (like MnO2 or KMnO4, S or C) or organic (like suggar)
2°) the low ignition T° of S and oxydation into SO2 and SO3
3°) the generated acidity of SO3 is part of the process but is mainly a problem for storage and related safety.

In fact just like for common black powder...
KClO3/C mix is harder to ignite than KClO3/S/C mix.
KClO3/S mix is harder to ignite than KClO3/S/C mix.
I have noticed that the red glowing charcoal needs to be present for correct ignition of KClO3




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[*] posted on 17-9-2016 at 19:48


The NC I used was double base smokeless powder.

All, just had a sucsussful det of an Ammonal like mixture with only 2grams of standard. flash powder. The ammonal container was not to strong either.

I am near positive it was a full power det. It formed a crater. No remains of the container could be found except the bottom which was drivin into the ground

I will do witness plate tests soon.
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[*] posted on 18-9-2016 at 02:59
NM-mix


I belive , that mix KClO3 60....NM 20........Al 10......NC double 10 will be full detonation. But this mix can detonate low VoD as Cheddite 2000m/s. Or some between ratios, I estimate 3 200m/s. But for 3200m ? But It is better Ammotropin. Easy and cheap. If you have A. nitrate. And not only KClO3 as basic compound. Dr.



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[*] posted on 18-9-2016 at 07:56


LL, the Ammotropin, to make this can the hexamine and AN be mixed together as a powder, or must they be melted together?
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[*] posted on 18-9-2016 at 11:25
Gordon mixture


Always melted together at 145 C with 1% resin from pine and pour on cold Aluminium plate. Scratch, grinding, at 80 - 40 C. Add Al powder 2- 3 %. Still warm filling to hermetic closure. All is very quickly process. AN 90 HMTA 9 resin 1. Best and maybe most powerfull mix and even very quickly made. In diameter 50 mm is VoD about 5000 m/s. Inventor William Gordon (google patents) . Dr.



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[*] posted on 18-9-2016 at 12:09


MineMan, BoomBoom314159 have performed tests with flash powder initiated ammonal. His conclusion was that it only goes low order. The only way to find out is to test it against a witness plate.
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[*] posted on 18-9-2016 at 12:44


Dornier I saw those videos. He used 6 grams of flash, while my mixture is sensitive enough to only need 2 grams... and this is standard flash, not sulfur, no magnesium, no ferroceium, no KCLO3, just 70/30 3 micron Al and KCLO4.

If the tests show low order than I suppose I will have to try one of your super flash recipes...! One where I do not have to grind for hours to get 2 grams ;).

Bert, Oh I am using my imagination, don't you worry! I just don't see how a slapper could work with these deflagerating binary mixes. Of course if any of these mixes could detonate that would be great.... Dornier is the pro on that...
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[*] posted on 18-9-2016 at 17:28


Tried two more tests tonight with 2grams of regular flash in a 223 brass rifle case like last time. The ammonal recipe was very similar, but these times it did not work... I thought I would have bragging rights ;")... bummer.

The ammonal recipe I used was
Powdered AN:87
1000 mesh Mg: 2 grams
2 micron Al:4 grams
Microballoons: 2grams
NM: 5 grams

I think the time it worked I used less NM... about 2%. I would not think a couple of percent would have made a difference. I have noticed with shooting these mixtures that less NM makes them more sensitive, a lot of times they will just catch on fire if I have too much NM.

Ok Dornier 335A I need your help since you are the flash powder king. What flash recipe is my best bet with micron sized powder? Is it still the KCLO4 and Mg??

I really want to nail this down... it has occupied my mind for several hours each day! Does anybody have any ideas to make the AN mixture more sensitive? I heard that one percent of iron oxide, but this was from an unverified source?

My only thoughts are small amounts of KCLO3 or red phosphorus. I can't find any place to buy the RP though... even for outrageous prices...
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[*] posted on 18-9-2016 at 18:22


KClO3 and ammonium nitrate will start to form ammonium chlorate under moist conditions and as you know powdered AN is very hard to keep dry. If mixed and used immediately I'm guessing it would be no big deal.

I've heard that AN/KClO3/ethylene glycol has been used as an exploding target and it appears to be safe but I believe they used coated, prilled AN and with yours being powdered it could react much faster.

Chlorate definately does a good job sensitizing AN/Al though, I've used 93/5/2 prilled AN/Al/KClO3 as a cheap 9mm sensitive target but mixing it just made me too nervous.

In any case I think using a small quantity of a sensitive AN mix like 95/5 AN/Al as a booster is a more practical alternative to trying to make your main charge more sensitive.

[Edited on 19-9-2016 by OneEyedPyro]
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[*] posted on 19-9-2016 at 08:19


One eye. That is ecentially what I did, was 95 AN 5 Al but a little nitro to make it more sensative.
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[*] posted on 19-9-2016 at 16:01


I've used 95/5 AN/Al both prilled and powdered with about 5 grams of flash as a cap and it has always worked.
The addition of NM often actually serves to decrease sensitivity by increasing density so maybe that extra bit was responsible for the failed det.

There are quite a few variables involved and IMO 2 grams of flash is barely enough so it's not too surprising to see hit and miss results.

I think standard flash powder is very unlikely to exceed 1,000 meters per second and with basically no gas output, well it's just not a very effective initiator.
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[*] posted on 20-9-2016 at 09:09


I think you are right about the increased density. I will try 5 percent by weight of microballoons.

There is a video on YouTube where someone uses .2 grams of SADS for ammonal with 5percent NM. I tried it and could not repeat those results. I posted a link to this video earlier.

Has anyone used star molecule Al powder for flash, if so, does it work better than German Dark?
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[*] posted on 23-9-2016 at 14:39


Well All, it looks like flash can go high order...

See below...

https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2011/dgac10c3/...

It can also be used in a detonator to detonate PETN in 120mg quantities if ammonium perchlorate is used.... according to this patent. The trick is using an AP composition since it produces gas.

https://www.google.com/patents/US5945627

"An in-hole detonator was prepared in an aluminum shell. The initiation portion consisted of 110 mg of HEP with a formulation of 80% ammonium perchlorate and 20% atomized aluminum which was inserted into a 14 mm long steel sleeve and pressed to a pressure of 2200 psi. Forty eight (48) mg of PETN was also inserted into the sleeve and also pressed to a pressure of 2200 psi. The HEP and "lower density" PETN, contained within the steel sleeve, were inserted into a detonator tube containing a pre-pressed charge of 740 mg of PETN which had bee pressed to a pressure of 3427 psi. When detonated, the detonator provided a good result in a "print" test."

Nay sayers.... see the proof above, please do not disappoint me in your responses.

Work right now is keeping me from testing the HEP detonator, but if anyone else would like to test it I will give you a virtual smile...:D

And yes I know the HEP (High Energy Pyrotechnic composition) does not go high order, but it does detonate PETN with 120mg!

[Edited on 23-9-2016 by MineMan]
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[*] posted on 25-9-2016 at 01:53


@ Mineman,

It is all a matter of sensitivity of the second HE.

If you try to detonate TATNB (unsensitive triamino-trinitrobenzene) with flash, it would be no go...TNT might also be problematic...TNP, maybe...for sure sensitive nitric esters or nitramines like methyl nitrate, EGDN, NG, ETN, XPN, MHN, high N% NC, PETN, RDX, HMX, MEDINA, MNA, EDNA,...will more likely do.

You of course understand that if you try to detonate silver nitrato acetylide complex (SADS - SANC) you will suceed 100% of the time no matter the energy content of the pyro composition...because SADS is very sensitivite to shock and heat...here with PETN you are closer to SADS than to TNT...

Into your first link, it is also a matter of quantity...of course 100g (or above) of deflagrating energetic pyrotechnic mix (or hot burning mix like a thermite) will pierce through the 1 mm iron steel test plate...but it is not a detonation stricto-senso.




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[*] posted on 26-9-2016 at 22:37



Quote:
The trick is using an AP composition since it produces gas.


There have been some who have filled aerial salutes with a 50:50 by weight mixture of a fast burning, double based flake reloading powder such as "Bullseye" and a standard 70% Potassium perchlorate:30% black Aluminum (+ 1% Cab-O-Sil fumed silica as an anti cake) flash powder.

I was present for perhaps a dozen tests, using the same perchlorate flash in all identically sized and contained devices (3" cylinder salute heavy spiral wound cans with double chipboard end discs, strung and pasted as normaly done for discharge from a mortar), half of the salutes used flash mixed with various common (on the USA market) fast, high NG content double based powders.

I do not recall if a standard total weight of charge was used when loading the smokeless mixtures or if all were filled to max volume, which would have resulted in a bit of variability in total charge weights, due to different grain shapes and dimensions of the reloading powders tried.

The straight flash devices were all loaded to 100% of available volume by jolting mildly on the bench to settle the powder.

The "enhanced" devices were fired alternately with the regular flash salutes, and several reasonably experienced fireworks display crew members at a good distance took notes on (apparent) loudness and rated them for.their preferred sound quality, no recording or non subjective analysis was done.

The devices with the reloading powder mixture were all deemed louder than straight flash powder devices, some quite substantially so. Herculese Bullseye and an imported reloading powder marketed as "Russian Bullseye replacement" of unknown manufacture were the hands down favorites for apparent sound volume.

Apparent density of the flash as it was loaded in these devices was rather less than that of these smokeless powders- The charges with the smokeless could easily be of greater weight for a similar volume device, and obviously had much more gas output as well. Total energy? Did not do the math at the time, and did not retain the figures needed to compute that.

All of the powders used have a reputation for damageing pistols if a double charge were thrown, and most were capable of being so charged in 9mm or .45acp and a projectile loaded to standard overall length without noticable effort of compression, using a hand reloading press.

The pressure experienced by the smokeless grains distributed inside of a well contained flash powder salute explosion likely exceeds the recomended working pressures of such double based powders, which were mostly intended for economical target pistol loads. Possibly by enough for pressure exponents to do interesting things-

All of the components used in these tests were legal for unlicensed persons to store and transport (separately, in small ammounts!) in the USA at the time of testing (around 2000-2002). I can not speak as to the likely legal outcome if one were to be arrested these days while posessing such a bill of materials, caseings, ignition supplies and AMONAL in "kit form".

I strongly recomend you not put yourself in a position where either BATFE or your local prosecutors decide to empirically determine that outcome for you...




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