Dynamite is an explosive consisting of nitroglycerine mixed with an absorbent material. It is often molded into sticks for use. It is classified as an explosive due to the fact that an explosive is anything that (after being ignited) burns rapidly and produces large amounts of hot gas in the process.
Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist, invented the explosive material in 1866. He received patents for his invention in England and Sweden in 1867. It soon became the safer and more powerful alternative to regular black powder. It received its name from an Ancient Greek word that means power.
Uses for Dynamite
As the safest and easiest to manage explosive, dynamite has become the popular choice for projects in mining, quarrying, construction and demolition industries. It has been used for trenching applications and as an alternative to cast boosters. It can also be used as an initiator for AN and ANFO explosive charges.
Forms of Dynamite
When manufactured, dynamite usually takes on the resemblance of a round cartridge that is about 1.25 inches wide and 8 inches long. It is then enclosed with paraffin, which is a translucent and waxy solid made of a mix of saturated hydrocarbons obtained by distillation from petroleum.
It may also come in many other forms including small sizes for demolition work. Large sizes can also be used for strip mining projects. It may also be found as bagged powder and even a gelatinized form for underwater use.
For nitroglycerin based explosives, a shelf life of one year from the date of manufacturing is recommended. No matter how well preserved, explosives will begin to sweat over time even if the most powerful sorbents are used.
When it sweats it will create a pool of liquid. It is highly recommended that dynamite be turned or rotated often to prevent this. In addition to sweating, crystals may also form on the outside of the sticks causing eve more temperature sensitive danger.
Refer to the manufacturer guidelines for proper storage information. Proper disposal guidelines should also be obtained. Never assume explosives are safe in storage without having a professional inspect it.