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Ammonpulver (explosive) Answered

hey, i was wondering if anyone has any experience with it. it is ammonium nitrate and charcoal. i hear it is hard to ignite? does anyone know the ratio?



(original source - "cartridges of the world" book)
Ammonpulver is a German name given to a low explosive fuel oxidizer mix containing solely ammonium nitrate and charcoal, this composition contains an enormous amount of energy for a simple physical mix with power close to that of double base powder containing a considerable amount of nitroglycerin.
However even though it contains the energy, its burn rate is slow and therefore is not suitable for bursting explosives.
Possible uses for this explosive are big bore gun propellant and rocket fuel. It has advantages over black powder in this role because of the increased energy, flashless and emits only a small amount of blueish smoke.
To make this composition -
finely powder ammonium nitrate and willow charcoal to as finer consistency as possible (finer the faster and more efficient) and mix to a ratio of 8 parts AN to 2 parts charcoal.
Once thoroughly mixed add methylated spirits until it clings together like thick mud.
strain this paste between two flat surfaces and leave to dry.. If your in the colder wetter months of the year don't bother as it will never dry.
Once hard, break it up into small granules and its ready to use.

Taken from: Arsenal.html...but I do not know how reliable it is.

that is very interesting as im looking for a mixture for model rocket fuel but do not have easy access to potash but have big access to ammonium nitrate as farm fertiliser, this is the first recipe i have found but the link you have kindly provided is no longer in use, any chance of more info on this mix would be greatly appreciated...thanks.

. Methylated spirits = denatured alcohol. Should be able to find it at just about any paint/hardware store.

Ok, when I read Kruser's post, I thought I saw Mentholated spirits and I just was not familiar with them. (rubs eyes......need new glasses)

Minty fresh ! *sigh*

I don't know. It may or may not dissolve the nitrates (or whatever it does there) before evaporating. *sorry I am not of much more help*

To ignite it ? Alcohol doesn't do a very good job of heating "what it is on" as far as ignition is concerned (have already accidentally had it on my hand, while lit and didn't feel any heat until it was nearly out). The hottest point of most flames is above them.

Other then what I have seen online, I have no experience with the substance myself.

Have you looked into gun cotton?


Link 2 guncotton

Parlodion is manufactured by nitrating (with nitric acid) and then sulfating (with sulfuric acid) relatively ordinary cotton to make it (as a result of the addition of soluble nitrate and sulfate groups) soluble. When dried, the solids become what is known as "gun cotton" because of its original use as gun powder.

Are you after an explosive or a rocket fuel?


10 years ago

It takes quite a lot to make an Ammonium nitrate mixture detonate. The famous ANFO is (was? My reference would be like a 1970 Dupont Blaster's Handbook) usually detonated with dynamite or special boosters containing many ounces of an intermediate-sensitivity explosive. A mixture of charcoal and AN ignited in a loose pile sort of smolders unimpressively. if you want to replace gunpowder, it needs to be tightly confined like in a gun barrel. If you want it to detonate, you either need a whole huge pile of it (cargo ships full are popular. See Texas City, Brest France, Red Sea) or a special booster, or you have to be exceedingly unlucky...

. From totse.com:
"AP was developed in the late 1880s as a replacement for black powder. It
is an intimate mixture of 85 percent ammonium nitrate and 15 percent char-
coal. ... It was extremly powerful, being on a par with double-based powders containing 30 percent nitroglycerine, and was virtually smokeless and flashless. ... when it was heated to moderate temperatures (32.1C), a change in the crystalline structure occured, causing the powder grains to crumble.
This would cause a drastic increase in the chamber pressure of guns using
this propellant, often causing burst tubes."
. Doesn't sound like DIY material to me.

Just a note: Unlike saltpeter-based explosives, those based on ammonium nitrate detonate. That is, they consume their fuel in millionths of a second so that the entire reaction is complete before the gas has a chance to expand. Consequently a shock wave is generated which shatters anything nearby including the container. Such explosives cannot be used as propellants or gunpowders as they will destroy the rocket, gun, or cannon. The principle use of these explosives is in blasting, either for mining or for construction.