How to Demonstrate the Instability of High Explosives

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Introduction: How to Demonstrate the Instability of High Explosives

This is a demonstration of why you should not mess around with high explosives. Just breathing on it sets it off. So when someone says, "don't try this at home", follow the instructions.

How to do this
get a high explosive.
Blow on it
Step Back
Count Fingers and Toes

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Hey, you said " get high explosive..." but most flash powder, c-4 and Semtex are all high explosives and they aren't reactive like that at all.

correction flash powder is low explosive

im not sure, i was reading something, i think it was on wikipedia, that said that the speed that flash powder burns at isnt considered deflagregaton, (which is how a low explosive eg gunpowder, is defined). it burns at a much faster rate than low explosives, and there fore is considered HE.

the reason i said *most* flash powder up there is because you can make impact/friction sensitive stuff that will go off really easy.

something is considered HE only because it detonates, not explodes.

Actually detonation is an explosion. The difference you are looking for is Detonation (kinetic shock causes the reaction) and Deflagration (Heat causes the reaction, layer by layer of molecules).

The textbook definition is when the speed of combustion is faster than the speed of sound through the substance (not through air, it's slower through air). This means that the wave of exploding material is traveling through the material faster than the sound of the explosion is.

Sounds as tho you're getting primary and secondary explosives confused. Common HEs like C4 are secondary xps...it's primary xps that detonate the secondary ones.

Even when you set a small ammt. of flamable high explosive off, such as TATP, it deflagrates. It detonates, though, in high quantities unconfined, and in basically any qty. confined.

That probably wasn't high explosives at all. It was probably a low explosive of some obsolete and seldom seen high explosive (I just contradicted myself) that was very sensitive. Today high explosives that are sensitive like that are almost never used or made. They have all been dumped in favor of more stable explosives that require a blasting cap(like C-4 and Semtex).