Dynamite

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Dynamite is an explosive material based on the explosive potential of nitroglycerin, initially using diatomaceous earth (kieselgur: United States spelling; kieselguhr: UK spelling) or another absorbent substance such as sawdust as an absorbent. It was invented by Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel in Kr├╝mmel (Geesthacht, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany), and patented in 1867. Its Greek roots literally mean "connected with power."

It is usually sold in the form of a stick about 20 cm (8 in) long and about 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter, with a weight of about 0.25 kg (0.6 lb).[citation needed] Other sizes also exist. Dynamite is considered a high explosive, which means it detonates rather than deflagrates. While TNT is used as the standard for gauging explosive power, dynamite actually has more than 60% greater energy density than TNT.

Another form of dynamite consists of nitroglycerin dissolved in nitrocellulose and a small amount of ketone. This form of dynamite is similar to cordite, and is much safer than the simple mix of nitroglycerin and diatomaceous earth. Military dynamite achieves greater stability by avoiding nitroglycerin.[1] Public knowledge of dynamite led to metaphoric uses, such as saying that a particular issue "is political dynamite" (for example at this link).

Contents

Uses

Dynamite is mainly used in the mining, quarrying, and construction industries and has had historical use in warfare, but the unstable nature of nitroglycerin, especially if subjected to freezing, has rendered it obsolete for modern military use.

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