The explosive power
of a compound
can be judged using two criteria, the detonation rate
, which describes the spread of the shock wave generated, and the physical density
of the material
, which is a guide to the energy
concentration of the material.
One of the most powerful explosives known is hexanitroisowurztitane
also known as 'CL20'. This has a detonation rate of 9380 m s-1
, and a density of 1.98 g/cm. The shock wave it produces expands through air at 21,000 mile
s per hour! (The speed of sound
is only 675 miles per hour).
HMX, tetramethylene tetranitramine or octagen is the most powerful commercially available explosive and has a detonation rate of 9110 m s-1
, with a density of 1.89 g/cm.
has a detonation rate of 6930 m s-1
and a density of 1.63 g/cm.
The cheapest explosive, which has 80% of the market share is simply a mixture of diesel
oil and ammonium nitrate an is known as ANFO