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Any chemical compound, mixture, or device, the common primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion is defined by 18 USC chapter -------, as what.

18USC Chapter 40



What type of explosives are defined as unstable substances or mixtures of substances capable of undergoing sudden and violent decomposition or break up.

Chemical explosives


Explosives characterized by deflagration, the development of low pressure, slow chemical reaction, subsonic explosion, and no shock wave.

Low explosives (LE)

Low explosives are typically classified as pyrotechnics and propellants.
Black powder & smokeless powder


Explosives characterized by a very high rate of reaction, high pressure development, and detonation, during which the explosive is decomposed into hot, rapidly expanding gas resulting in a supersonic explosion.

High explosives

Chemicals that can detonate.


_______________ is directly related to the functioning velocity of an explosive.

Explosive work or explosive power.



Low explosives detonate.



What type of explosive demonstrates pushing or heaving power?

Low explosive

High explosives have the ability to shatter OR push depending on their detonation velocity. Think of the two vehicles. The white vehicle suffered greater catastrophic damage bc the velocities were slower.


What term refers to the shattering or crushing effect of a sudden release of energy from an explosive; ability of explosives when detonated to shatter, rip apart, or tear its surroundings?



A ___________ is an ordered combination of explosives necessary to achieve an explosion.

Explosive train


What is the first step in the explosive train?


Definition: first step in the explosive process. It starts the reaction that leads to the explosion.


What is defined as a sudden and violent escape of gases from a central point accompanied by high temperature, violent shock, and loud noise and either involve detonation or rapid deflagration?



Combustion may be devised into what three broad categories?

A. Slow, rapid, and instantaneous combustion
B. low, high, and simultaneous combustion
C. Complete, incomplete, and bilateral combustion.
D. Taco Bell, Krystal's, McDonalds Big Mac.

A. Slow combustion
Rapid combustion
Instantaneous combustion.


What type of combustion is merely normal burning, the heating of a substance as it reaches it's ignition point?

Slow combustion


Rapid combustion is referred to as an explosion if it is

A. Controlled
B. Confined
C. Oxidized
D. Violent

Answer: B confined
Rapid combustion is referred to as explosion if confined. Like fuel and air mixture being ignited by a spark plug inside the cylinder of a gasoline engine, resulting in an explosion.



Instantaneous combustion is called detonation.


It is the instantaneous conversion of the explosive substance from a solid or liquid to a gas.


________ is the very rapid exothermic (burning), self-propagating chemical reaction thru un reacted material at a velocity less than speed of sound (3300 FPS)
A. Rapid combustion
B. Detonation
C. Deflagration
D. Initiation

C. Deflagration


A Chemical reaction given by an explosive substance which produces a shock wave, creates high temps, and pressure gradients and where the chemical reaction is initiated instantaneously is _______
A. Detonation
B. High explosive
C. Rapid Combustion
D. Deflagration

A. Detonation


Speed at which the shock wave passes thru a column of explosives is referred to as what?

Detonation velocity.
Remember the difference in the damage to the cars between dynamite and ANFO


The incomplete consumption or the complete consumption, but at lower than optimum velocity, of an explosive is referred to as...
A. High order detonation
B. Sympathetic detonation
C. Low order detonation
D. Slow combustion

C. Low order detonation
Causes: deterioration of explosive, poor contact between initiator and the explosive, disruption of the shock wave (air bubbles in explosive), insufficient power of initiator.



High order detonation is the complete consumption of the explosive at its optimum (highest) velocity.


Low order is the incomplete consumption or the complete consumption but at less than optimum velocity.


The initiation of an explosive from the shock wave of another explosive charge that is in close proximity is referred to as ___________ detonation.
A. Instantaneous combustion
B. Sympathetic detonation
C. Detonation velocity
D. Deflagration.

B. Sympathetic detonation


The three types of explosions are...
A. low order, high order, and sympathetic.
B. Slow, rapid, instantaneous
C. Mechanical, chemical, nuclear
D. Deflagration, detonation, and deterioration.

C. Mechanical, Chemical, Nuclear

Mechanical-simple mech. pressure w/o explosive chemical reaction
Chemical-rapid conversion of substance (solid/liquid) into gas.
Nuclear-Fission. Splitting nucleons of atoms.


An explosion involving the conversion of a substance (such as water) into a gas, without any explosive chemical reaction (hint), is referred to as what type of explosion?

Hint- B.L.E.V.E

Mechanical explosion.
B.L.E.V.E- Boiling liquid, expanding vapor, explosion
Example: hot water heater.


A type of explosion where by a solid or liquid substance is rapidly transformed/converted into a gas is referred to as a ___________ explosion.


These materials (small in bulk) are transformed into large volumes of hot gases in a fraction of a second.

Chemical explosions contain their own FUELS and OXIDIZERS.


Explosion involving fission, or the splitting of the nucleons of atoms

Nuclear explosion.


Potassium chlorate, ammonium nitrate, sodium nitrate, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide are examples of what?


Note the "ate" and "ide" as in chlorATE, and hydroxIDE.


Fuel oils, liquid hydrocarbons, aluminum, magnesium, nitromethane are examples of what?




Regarding blast pressure, the negative blast pressure is more violent.



What are the two phases of blast pressure?

A. Positive and negative blast pressure.
B. Reflective and directional.
C. Outward and upward.
D. Shielding and fragmentation.

A. Positive and negative.


The initial, and more powerful blast effects of an explosion, responsible for the majority of blast pressure damage, and occurs as the hot expanding gases create a pressure wave that radiates outward from the explosion at high speed and force is ___________ blast pressure.



Regarding positive blast pressure, ___________ is the sharp instantaneous rise in atmospheric pressure which results
from an explosive detonation.
A. Negative pressure
B. Overpressure
C. Ambient pressure
D. Low pressure

B. Overpressure


Air rushing back into the origin of an explosive detonation is called the __________pressure phase.

A. Negative
B. Positive.
C. Low air...
D. Secondary.

A. Negative pressure phase.


Occurs when blast pressure waves travel until they hit a surface and then reflect off that surface, traveling in another direction is called...
A. Shielding
B. Venting
C. Reflection
D. Refraction.




Air entrapment occurs when the blast pressure is able to escape a confined space.


Venting is when blast pressure is able to escape confined space.


When blast pressure wave strikes immovable object



Regarding blast over pressure, the Threshold for lung damage is...

A. 5 psi blast pressure
B. 10 psi blast pressure
C. 15 psi blast pressure
D. None of above, Lung damage occurs thru negative blast pressure.

C. 15 psi

Blast over pressure causes internal damage to hollow organs (ears, lungs, GI tract).
More: 35-45 psi = approx. 1% fatalities
55-65 psi = 99% fatalities


Time fuse (safety fuse) burns at the following rate.

A. 30-45 feet per second (FPS)
B. 60 FPS
C. 30-45 seconds per foot
D. 60 seconds per foot

C. 30-45 seconds per foot


When blast pressure effect of an explosion breaks material into pieces (materials which had been part of the bomb casing or of objects nearby)

This is referred to as____________.

How does this differ from shrapnel? Shrapnel is materials such as nails, spikes, ball bearings, marbles, nuts/bolts, purposefully added to device to cause anti personnel properties to the device's effect.



Low explosives deflagrate (burn) and produce lower temperatures, longer burning times, and are typically used as propellants.


Smokeless powder and black powder are both low explosives.
Further, low explosives usually need to be confined in some way in order to cause an explosion. Remember the black powder and smokeless powder in the trough on the range. Simple burning.



Black powder is a high explosive

False. Low explosive
BP is used in time fuse (safety fuse), in ignition trains and as a propellant, and often in pipe bombs due to availability.
When used in timing fuse, burns at apprx 30-45 seconds per foot or
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 minutes per meter. Speed of burn rate determined by grain size.


Black powder and smokeless powder are used to construct pipe bombs because they are not sensitive to heat shock friction and sparks.


It's true that they are used for such villainous purposes. But, both are sensitive to flame, heat, sparks etc.


Smokeless powder can be single-base, double-base, and triple-base.
The main difference is that triple base smokeless powders contain what? Think "the dark knight"

Nitroguanidine. Made from bat shit.


Flash powders are low explosives. Used in pyrotechnics. However, flash powders are considered high explosives in regard to what?

Storage requirements.


High explosives

High explosives are instantaneously consumed. Used in construction, mining, demolition, and military applications. Rather than burn, high explosives__________, and do not need to be _________.
A. Explode - restricted
B. Discharge - compacted
C. ..Are insensitive - ignited
D. Detonate - confined

D. High explosives detonate rather than burn (deflagrate) and do not need to be confined to detonate.



Primary high explosives are sensitive to initiation by friction, shock, static electricity, heat, and flame, and are used for ammunition primers and in commercial and military detonators.




Composed of acetone, peroxide, and sulfuric acid, TATP is a popular homemade explosive (HME). TATP is very unstable and is considered
A high explosive.



Secondary high explosives are relatively insensitive and require a _____________ for initiation.
A. Detonator
B. Confinement vessel.
C. Oxidizer
D. Fuel load

A. Detonator



Secondary high explosives, which require a detonator to initiate detonation, are sometimes used themselves as boosters for much less sensitive explosives.



Dynamite, the most commonly known commercial high explosive is a primary or secondary high explosive.



The term given to devices which are secondary high explosives and are sometimes used to amplify the detonation wave from a detonator to achieve initiation of less sensitive explosives.

A. Non electric detonators
B. Time fuse
C. Booster
D. Detonation cord

C. Booster

Can be pre cast into various sizes. Most common 1/3 lb. and 1 lb.
"Cast" means they can be melted and poured or cast taking the shape of the vessel. 350 degrees= TNT melting point.


Nitroglycerin is the main component in commercial dynamite and is very sensitive to heat shock and friction. In dynamite, this ingredient is the

A. Oxidizer
B. Fuel
C. Sensitizer
D. Primary low explosive

C. Sensitizer

Military dynamite does not contain nitroglycerin.


Trinitrotoluene is known as _________ .



TNT is a __________ high explosive, is very stable, can be casted, and is used as the ________ by which all other explosives are measured.

A. Primary - booster
B. Secondary - standard
C. Primary - explosive
D. Secondary - derivative

B. Secondary - standard

All explosives are compared to TNT. TNT is a military product coming in 1/4, 1/2, and 1 lb. configurations.


Military dynamite (M1) contains 75% RDX, 15% TNT, 5% motor oil, and 5% corn starch but does not contain what?




Military explosives, generally fuel rich, produce very little smoke or white smoke when detonated due to their high rate of detonation.

False. Fuel rich explosives produce dark grey to black smoke.



Because of C4's high rate of detonation (approx 26,400 FPS) it generally has a pushing or heaving effect.

False. Shattering effect due to high rate of detonation. Remember the two cars? Neither one was C4 but, the ANFO's slower detonation rate, as opposed to the dynamite, cause heaving pushing effects causing more damage.


Her majesty's explosive, a byproduct of RDX production is known as _________ and is used in small quantities in most _________ .
A. HC3 - det cord
B. TNT - time fuse
C. MI6 - hobby fuse
D. HMX - shock tube

D. HMX - shock tube

Also known as cyclotetramethylenetettranitramine and octogen.
Detonation velocity of apprx 29,900 FPS.



Binary explosives, prior to being brought together, are highly regulated due to their caustic nature and their environmental impacts.


Binary explosives parts are not regulated until mixed.


Regarding binary explosives,
Nitromethane or nitroethane would be considered the __________ ,oxidizers would include ammonium nitrate, and materials such as aluminum powder or Hydrocarbons such as propane, and butane would be considered _____________.
A. Blasting agent - booster
B. Combustible liquid - flammable liquid
C. Fuel - sensitizers
D. Sensitive material - base explosive

C.fuel - sensitizers


The two basic types of shaped charges are:
A. Horizontal and vertical
B. Conical and linear
C. Electric and non electric
D. Low explosive and high explosive shape charges

B. Conical and linear


Materials that are intended for blasting, not otherwise defined as an explosive, which consist of fuel and oxidizer, cannot be detonated by means of a number 8 test-blasting cap when unconfined, and require a booster to detonate are:

A. Blasting agents
B. Shape charges
C. Secondary high explosives
D. Low explosives

A. Blasting agents - ANFO is the most common blasting agent in the U.S. By definition blasting agents cannot be initiated by a detonator alone. These products consist entirely of components that are NOT classified individually as explosives.



A conical shaped charge is primarily used for cutting.


Conical: punch circular hole, focus blast in particular direction.

Linear: used for cutting. Though these also focus the blast, they focus the blast in a line.



Blasting agents by their nature are much more sensitive to initiation than primary and secondary high explosives.


Blasting agents MUST have a booster to initiate detonation. They, by their very definition, cannot be initiated by a detonator alone.

ANFO- essentially Fertilizer and diesel, is a blasting agent.



Dynamite is the most widely used blasting agent in the US.

False - dynamite is NOT a blasting agent

Dynamite is a secondary high explosive & the most commonly known commercial high explosive. It is not a blasting agent. ANFO is a blasting agent. Blasting agents require confinement and a booster. Blasting agents consist of components NOT classified individually as explosives.


HME (homemade explosives) are non-commercial energetic materials which can be formulated with readily available components.
_______&______ are two of the more popular HMEs found on the internet.
B. ANFO & Diesel fuel
D. Nitromethane & DDNP

TATP-acetone, peroxide, sulfuric acid- Primary HE
HMTD-examine, peroxide, citric acid - Secondary HE.
Both have extreme explosive properties. Little commercial or military applications. Too unstable.


An ordered combination of explosives necessary to achieve an explosion is what?
A. Initiation
B. Explosive precursor
C. Explosive Train
D. Sympathetic detonation

C. Explosive Train- fundamental process in all chemical explosions.
Explosive trains my be initiated electrically or non-electrically.
Some high explosives cannot be detonated unless a booster is added to the explosives train.


Time fuse (safety fuse), a non-electrical initiator, has a black powder core and burns at an approx rate of ...
A. 30-45 seconds per foot
B. 60 feet per second
C. 30-45 feet per second
D. 60 seconds per foot

A 30-45 seconds per foot


In a _________ initiated explosion, a fuse igniter (percussion primer or pull friction type) or a match is the first step that leads to an explosion.
A. Electrically
B. Non-electrically
C. Booster

B. Non-electrically initiated
Ex: Fuse igniter or match used to ignite a time fuse to initiate a smokeless powder filled pipe bomb.
Fuse igniter attached to a time fuse transmits a spit of flame to a non-electric detonator to initiate a block of TNT.


A type of firing system, consisting of small plastic tubing containing a light dusting of HMX and fine aluminum powder, which transmits a shock wave thru the tube rather than a spit of flame like time fuse; and is more controlled than time fuse, eliminating the time it take for time fuse to burn.

Shock tube firing system. NONEL is a brand name.
2500 foot spool of shock tube contains 11 grams of HMX.
Shock tube is less susceptible to accidental discharge by static electricity than an electrical firing system.


In a __________ initiated explosion, a power source such as a battery initiates the process that leads to an explosion.
A. Non-electrically
B. Electrically
C. Remote controlled
D. Chemically

B. Electrically Initiated.
Electrical detonators are constructed in much the same way as non-electrical detonators, except that source of electricity is used to initiate the detonator. Electrical circuit is carried thru two insulated wires. A plug, inside the detonator, holds the wires in place.

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