Subject: Re: quite mail list
Date: 19 Mar 90 13:13:21 GMT

>The "improvised plastic explosive", if it's the one I've
>heard of (and never made) is a potassium perchorate explosive.
>IT's made with bleach and white gasline, (I can post details if 
>youre really interested.)  Anyway, its nothing like as good
>as C4, and probably less stable.


Chlorates and perchlorates are really a good raw materials for these improvised
stuffs. They can always be made to explode, if mixed with combustible materials
and if the oxygen balance of the mixture is near zero (+- 50 %). The combustible
material can be almost anything, wheat flour, soja oil or toilet paper
will do fine.

The "improvised plastic" seems to be quite the same I have used a long time
ago. I only had sodium chlorate, but it worked just fine. As a fuel I had 
PVC or polystyrene dissolved in a plasticizer(phtalates, sebacates) or
if I didn't have any plasticizer, I took xylene as the solvent. The finished
product looked similar to C-4, but wasn't even nearly as effective. It did 
make a large puff of smoke and a bang, but it was almost ineffective on, for 
example, stone or steel. This stuff had also the same drawbacks as the 
fertilizer mixtures: a minimal charge, in this case about 0,5 kg. The mixture
was also relatively hard to ignite, I had to take a small booster charge, the
blasting cap alone was not enough, i.e. the mixture was actually too stable.
If perchlorates are used (potassium or ammonium), the explosive will be a lot
more brisant than with chlorates and safer, too. Still, the detonation velocity
is under 4500 meters/second, which is not enough for unconfined charges. Hence,
chlorates and perchlorates can effectively be used for mining purposes only,
not for demolitions.