Explosive Interaction with Environment: Unknown Forces

 Interaction of Explosives with the Environment

    Explosives are important substances used in many fields from mining to defense industry today. They contain a lot of energy. Materials with a lot of energy such as explosives have been very interesting for people from the past to the present. Naturally, important questions have been asked from past to present about substances that attract such attention, and they are being asked today. In this article, we will briefly talk about explosives and examine how they create area damage. At the end of the article, I will talk about the important consequences of the interaction of explosives and the environment, which has been neglected until today, and the possible technological uses of these results.

What is Explosive Substance?

Explosives are substances that can hold a lot of energy in the chemical bonds they have in their structure and can give this energy out very quickly with a reaction initiated by any impact, electric current or ignition. The ability to energize very quickly is actually a key point in understanding whether a substance is explosive. Because a slow release of energy would not cause an explosion.

Where Does the Energy of the Explosive Matter Come From?

This question, which may seem absurd at first glance, is actually quite important. Let's explain this through an example. Take Trinitrotoluene, known as TNT. This highly toxic and explosive feature is obtained by nitration of a simple petroleum-derived substance called toluene. After Nitro groups are attached to the toluene structure, it begins to acquire its explosive feature. As you can see, nitro groups (NO3) become explosive after they are bonded. In short, although the energy is spread throughout the molecule, the bonds of nitro groups with the toluene molecule are the main cause of the explosion. We can further multiply this nitro group example. For example: nitroglycerin, nitrocellulose...

How Does the Explosion Occur?

Explosives do not directly explode; cause an explosion. Let us explain this situation with an example. Suppose we have 1kg of TNT. If you put it in a mold, it will cause an explosion that can threaten the existence of a person when stimulated by fire. If you pour the same amount of TNT on the ground like a rope and make a long strip, you will see that when it comes into contact with fire, it will burn from beginning to end very quickly, but this will not harm anyone. (Only experts should deal with such substances. Uncontrolled trials should be avoided.) The reason for this is quite simple. TNT is a material that can burn very quickly and release a lot of energy. If you spread this effect over a large area, you can hardly distinguish it from normal burning. However, if this effect is collected at one point, the rapidly heated air in the center expands in the combustion event and this expansion causes the formation of a shock wave.

How Does Explosive Build Area Damage?

We have previously explained that explosive materials create a very rapid energy output when they are ignited, and this energy output causes the air to heat up and expand rapidly. This expansion event is very rapid due to the high temperatures that occur at the time of the explosion. As you can imagine, the expanding air rapidly moves away from the center of the reaction, and this rapidly moving air creates the shock wave we all know.

Unknown Forces in the Interaction of the Explosive with the Environment?

A lot of research has been done on explosives until today. Thousands of scientists worked with the desire to do better, but there was a very important point they missed, most of them focused on the chemical substance itself. However, there was one important factor they missed: the environmental factor. At the moment of the explosion, the expanding air creates a shock wave and spreads rapidly in the atmosphere, but every action has a reaction. At this point, the reaction by the atmosphere affects the explosion performance. This is exactly the force that many people overlook in this regard: the reaction force of the atmosphere.

How is the Reaction Force of the Atmosphere Formed?

Let's start by looking at how the reaction force of the atmosphere is formed. We mentioned in the previous titles that the rapid burning event, which we call explosion, rapidly expands the atmospheric gases and the expanding hot gases spread rapidly in the atmosphere. At this point, some hypotheses may have started to come to life in your mind. Let's remember our geography high school information. Winds always move from high pressure centers to low pressure centers. The expanding air at the blast center quickly loses density. This loss of density creates an instantaneous low pressure area. Air currents occur from high pressure centers in the environment to the explosion center. And the impact of the shock wave is limited. Thus, we talked about the relationship between the explosion and the environment.

Can the Influence of Atmosphere be Used to Affect Explosion Performance?

In order to comment on this subject, we must first know what the wind speed depends on. We can say that the greater the pressure difference between low and high pressure centers, the faster the wind in general. In other words, we can break or increase the effect of the explosive by controlling the instantaneous pressure centers in the environment.


The explosion performance of explosives is highly affected by the environment. One of the effects of the environment is the formation of air flow from the high pressure centers in the environment to the low pressure centers created by the shock wave as it propagates. With a theoretical endothermic explosive or exothermic explosives it may be possible to control the surrounding air currents in a way that changes the detonation performance. The biggest problem here comes from making large-scale endothermic explosives. The question of "Can endothermic explosives be made" should be the subject of another article. That's it for this day. Stay with science...

Translated by Arsene^_^


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