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From: (Gerald L. Hurst)
Newsgroups: alt.engr.explosives
Subject: Re: H-6
Date: 2 Nov 1996 17:49:29 GMT

In article <327BB216.4018@tick.toc>, DooDaa <DooDaa@tick.toc> says:

>Gerald L. Hurst wrote:
>> The solidified mixture is way less dangerous than the corresponding NG
>> mix and not much less powerful.  If they want more power, they just add
>> aluminum to form H-6.
>> Jerry (Ico)
>Er, do they add the Al to the PETN of the previous mixtures you were
>talking about?  If it is to the PETN, could you be specific in the
>amounts used, as this sounds interesting.

The military folks in the US generally use RDX rather than PETN in their
formulations because it is a bit denser and somewhat less sensitive.
However, in most cases there is not a great deal of difference and PETN
can usually be substituted for RDX, at least for non mil spec work.  The
Russians, et al seem to like mixtures of PETN and RDX in their HE, 
apparently deriving some brisance synergy at the possible cost of
some stability by US standards.

Aluminum has two fundamental applications in explosives--it can be used
as a sensitizer in various commercial formulations in small amounts and 
as a power enhancer in both military and commercial explosives in 
relatively large amounts.

Good examples of aluminum used for power are H-6, ammonal and

H-6 is one of the most powerful military explosives - it contains
20% aluminum in a waxed 1.5:1 RDX:TNT mixture.

Tritonal usually also contains 20% aluminum (in straight TNT). The
power increases up to about 30% but brisance maximizes at 17%.

Ammonal is AN 22, TNT 67, aluminum 11 - it's an ersatz mixture when
TNT is scarce.  The power is OK but crystal phase changes in the AN
are a nuisance.

In these formulations the aluminum actually tends to make the 
mixtures somewhat less sensitive to primer initiation in my 

Jerry (Ico)

From: (Gerald L. Hurst)
Newsgroups: alt.engr.explosives
Subject: Re: Explosives Question
Date: 2 Jun 1997 22:07:42 GMT

In article <01bc6f98$80e5fec0$324798c2@default>, "James Hodgson"
<> says:

>Could anybody tell me anything about an explosive called ammanol.  It was
>used in world war one in the Messines Ridge mines.  Any information
>regarding composition, synthesis or properties would be very helpful.

You probably mean either amatol or ammonal, both of which are basically 
ersatz bomb-filler materials used when TNT is in short supply.  Amatol
is a mixture of  AN and TNT (80/20, 60/40 or 50/50).  Ammonal is a 
22/67/11 mixture of AN/TNT/Al.  All of these compositions have better
heave than straight TNT but tend to be troublesome in storage because
thermal cycling causes phase changes in the AN with accompanying 
changes in volume.

Jerry (Ico)

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