From The Chemistry of Explosives, Second Edition


The volume of gas produced during an explosion will provide information on the amount of work done by the explosive. In order to measure the volume of gas generated standard conditions must be established, because the volume of gas will vary according to the temperature at which the measurement is taken. These standard conditions also enable comparisons to be made between one explosive and another. The standard conditions set the temperature at 0 C or 273 K, and the pressure at 1 atm. These conditions are known as standard, temperature and pressure , stp . Under these standard conditions one mole of gas will occupy 22.4 dm 3, which is known as the molar gas volume. The volume of gas V produced from an explosive during detonation can be calculated from its equation of decomposition, where information can be obtained on the amount of gaseous products liberated. Examples for the calculation of V during detonation of RDX and TNT are given below.

The equation for explosion of RDX using the K W rules is given in Reaction 5.9.

The production of water will be turned into steam as the temperature of explosion will be very high; therefore, water will be regarded as a gaseous product. From Reaction 5.9 it can be seen that 9 moles of gas are produced from 1 mole of RDX. Therefore, 9 moles of gas will occupy 201.6 dm 3 and 1 g of RDX will produce 0.908 dm

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Topics of Interest

EXPLOSIVE POWER AND POWER INDEX In an explosive reaction, heat and gases are liberated. The volume of gas V and the heat of explosion Q can both be calculated independently but these values can be...

MIXED EXPLOSIVE COMPOSITIONS Most explosive and propellant compositions contain a mixture of components so as to optimize their performance. Some of the components may not contribute to the heat...

TEMPERATURE OF CHEMICAL EXPLOSION When an explosive detonates the reaction is extremely fast and, initially, the gases do not have time to expand to any great extent. The heat liberated by the...

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