acting upon, say, fulminate, in the first instance cause it to undergo a rapid chemical transformation which produces hot gas, and the transformation is so rapid that the advancing front of the mass of hot gas amounts to a wave of pressure capable of initiating by its shock the explosion of the next portion of fulminate. This explodes to furnish additional shock which explodes the next adjacent portion of fulminate, and so on, the explosion
advancing through the mass with incredible quickness. In a standard No. 6 blasting cap the explosion proceeds with a velocity of about 3500 meters per second.
If a sufficient quantity of fulminate is exploded in contact with trinitrotoluene, the Bhock induces the trinitrotoluene to explode, producing a shock adequate to initiate the explosion of a further portion. The explosive wave traverses the trinitrotoluene with a velocity which is actually greater than the velocity of the initiating wave in the fulminate. Because this sort of thing happens, the application of the principle of the booster is possible. If the quantity of fulminate is not sufficient, the trinitrotoluene either does not detonate ab all or detonates incompletely and only part way into its mass. For every high explosive there is a minimum quantity of each primary explosive which is needed to secure its certain and complete denotation. The best initiator for one high explosive is not necessarily the best initiator for another. A. high explosive is generally not its own best initiator unless it happens to be used under conditions in which it is exploding with its maximum velocity of detonation.
Detonating fu9e consists of a narrow tube filled with high explosive. When an explosion is initiated at one end by means of a detonator, the explosive wave travels along the fuse with a high velocity and causes the detonation of other high explosives which lie in its path. Detonating fuse is used for procuring the almost simultaneous explosion of a number of charges.
Detonating fuse is called cordeau détonant in the French language, and cordeau has become the common American designation for it. Cordeau has been made from lead tubes filled with trinitrotoluene, from aluminum or block tin tubes filled with picric acid, and from tubes of woven fabric filled with nitrocellulose or with pentaerythrite tetranitrate (PETN). In this country th®
Ensign-Bickford Company, at Simabury, Connecticut, manufac-
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