(noun) An explosive bolt is a term used for a self-destructing fastener which contains and utilizes pyrotechnics to cause itself to fail. They are used in the aerospace industry for connections which require great strength but must be severed instantly either at a predetermined time (once) or in case of failure. Two high-profile examples include the bolts attaching the Solid Rocket Boosters to the External Tank of the Space Shuttle, as well as those connecting the External Tank to the Orbiter; also, jet aircraft with canopies and ejection seats tend to have explosive bolts designed to quickly jettison the canopy so that the seat and pilot can get clear, and/or sever the seat from the airframe.

Explosive bolts typically utilize an electrical charge for ignition (see electronic fuse) although some may be percussion sensitive.

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