Initial explosive

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Initial explosives (from Latin: initium = beginning, entrance), also obsolete explosives, can be caused to explode by small mechanical or thermal effects . They are used in detonators to initiate explosive charges. The primers of projectile cartridges contain initial explosives for initiating the propellant charge . Together with explosives , propellants and explosives ( black powder and gunpowder or propellant charge powder ), detonators and pyrotechnic charges , these belong to the class of explosives. The propellant powder contained in the cartridges cannot be caused to explode by the impact of the ignition bolt, as it is too insensitive to impact. The explosives used in grenades, mines, bombs and other ammunition are also so insensitive that they cannot detonate when hit or by the heat of a burning fuse. In these cases, initial explosives are used in detonators, primers or to ignite booster charges . Initial explosives are characterized by their high sensitivity to friction, impact, impact and heating. Hot mercury is z. B. detonated by heating to 160 ° C ( fuse ) or by a 2 kg drop hammer falling from a height of 4 cm. Cartridges have a small amount of initial explosive on the bottom or on the edge. This is detonated by the striking bolt or by electric glow ignition and then ignites the propellant charge. The initial ignition with detonators was invented by Alfred Nobel in 1862 .

Important initial explosives are:

The explosive gold , which was first described in 1585, found no technical application worth mentioning as an explosive due to its high level of explosiveness and the resulting problematic handling.


  • Richard Escales, Alfred Stettbacher: Initial explosives. Survival Press, Radolfzell 1917. (Reprint: 2002, ISBN 3-8311-3939-3 )
  • R. Knoll: The fiery mercury and similar explosives. Survival Press, Radolfzell 1918. (Reprint: 2001, ISBN 3-8311-2876-6 )
  • Robert Matyas, Jiri Pachman: Primary Explosives . Springer, 2013, ISBN 978-3-642-28435-9 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. An encyclopedia of common knowledge. 4th, completely revised edition. 16 volumes. Bibliographical Institute, Leipzig 1885–1890
  2. ^ T. Urbanski: Chemistry and Technology of Explosives. Volume 3, Pergamon Press, Oxford 1967.
  3. Georg Steinhauser, Jürgen Evers, Stefanie Jakob, Thomas M. Klapötke, Gilbert Oehlinger: A review on fulminating gold (Knallgold) . In: Gold Bulletin . No. 41 , 2008, ISSN  2364-821X , p. 305-317 , doi : 10.1007 / BF03214888 (English, PDF ).