This low explosives and powders section details many different deflagrating compounds including gun powders, pyrotechnic powders, propellants, flare powders and more.
Low explosives do not detonate, but rather burn very rapidly. Although they generally burn far below the speed of sound, low explosives are still capable of producing huge amounts of force.
Low explosives are generally comprised of two or three components: Oxidizer, Fuel and a Catalyst. A classic blackpowder recipe uses potassium nitrate as the oxidizer, charcoal as the fuel and sulphur as the catalyst. When ignited this mixture burns very rapidly producing a small “explosion”.
When confined to a casing of some type be it cardboard tube in the case of pyrotechnics, shell in the case of a bullet or clay and cardboard “rocket engine” casing the results are generally much more spectacular. Low explosives do not detonate, and burn the rate can be reliably predicted in the case of many low explosive compositions, making them relatively “safe” for home use in pyrotechnics and other uses such as matches, flares and model rocketry.
Some low explosives’ burn rate is increased when confined, such in the case of nitrocellulose.
This section provides a broad range of fantastic guides and documents on the topic of low explosives, propellants and other such compositions.