Plastic Explosive from Swimming Pool Chlorinating Compound

Written by: The Lich

This explosive is a chlorate explosive from bleach. This method of production of potassium or sodium chlorate is easier and yields a more pure product than does the plastique explosive from bleach process. In this reaction the H.T.H. (calcium hypochlorite CaC10) is mixed with water and heated with either sodium chloride (table salt, rock salt) or potassium chloride (salt substitute). The latter of these salts is the salt of choice due to the easy crystalization of the potassium chlorate. This mixture will need to be boiled to ensure complete reaction of the ingredients. Obtain some H.T.H. swimming pool chlorination compound or equivilant (usually 65% calcium hypochlorite). As with the bleach process mentioned earlier the reaction described below is also a dissociation reaction. In a large pyrex glass or enamled steel container place 1200g. H.T.H. and 220g. potassium chloride or 159g. sodium chloride. Add enough boiling water to dissolve the powder and boil this solution. A chalky substance (calcium chloride) will be formed. When the formation of this chalky substance is no longer formed the solution is filtered while boiling hot. If potassium chloride was used potassium chlorate will be formed. This potassium chlorate will drop out or crystalize as the clear liquid left after filtering cools. These crystals are filtered out when the solution reaches room temperature. If the sodium chloride salt was used this clear filtrate (clear liquid after filteration) will need to have all water evaporated. This will leave crystals which should be saved.

These crystals should be heated in a slightly warm oven in a pyrex dish to drive off all traces of water (40-75 deg. C.). These crystals are ground to a very fine powder (400 mesh).

If the sodium chloride salt is used in the initial step the crystalization is much more time consuming. The potassium chloride is the salt to use as the resulting product will crystalize out of the solution as it cools. The powdered and completely dry chlorate crystals are kneaded together with vaseline in a plastic bowl. All chlorate based explosives are sensitive to friction and shock and these should be avoided. If sodium chloride is used in this explosive it will have a tendancy to cake and has a slightly lower detonation velocity. This explosive is composed of the following:

  • potassium/sodium chlorate 90%
  • vaseline 10%

The detonation velocity can be raised to a slight extent by the addition of 2-3% aluminum sunstituted for 2-3% of the vaseline. This addition of this aluminum will give the explosive a bright flash if set off at night which will ruin night vision for a short while. The detonation velocity of this explosive is approximately 3200 m/sec. for the potassium salt and 2900 m/sec. for the sodium salt based explosive.

Be sure to check out the Equipment section for Pyrotechnics.
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