AMMONIUM NITRATE, nitrate of ammonia, ammonia saltpetre, ammonia nitre (EN: ammonium nitrate; DE: Ammonsalpeter, Ammoniumnitrat; FR: salpetre d'ammonium, nitrate d'ammonium; ES: nitrato amonico, salitre amoniacal; RU: аммиачная селитра) is the weak explosive substance, which is obtained by the interaction of ammonia with nitric acid. It is used as the oxidizing agent within the constitution of the industrial explosive substances. It is approximately 3 times worse than TNT according to the energetical parametres. It is characterized by the low detonation capability.
Ammonium nitrate is the hygroscopic free-flowing crystalline powder of the white colour. With the increase of temperature, the hygroscopic point of the nitrate decreases, and the rate of moistening increases; ammonium nitrate can cake. It is capable of the self-accelerating thermal decomposition. It can explode during the intense heating; the danger of the explosion increases within the enclosed indoor space, which is assisting to the increase of the pressure. The danger of fire and explosion of ammonium nitrate increases during the presence there of the admixtures of the organic origin, and also during the sealing into the combustible materials. There worsen the thermal stability of the ammonium nitrate the carbohydrates, starch, sugars, glucose, the presence of the nitrite salts and nitric acid is especially dangerous.
There stabilize the ammonium nitrate the urea, hexamine, carbonates. Ammonium nitrate is not used as the independent explosive substance due to the small energy of the explosion.
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