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943187.  Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:36 pm Reply with quote

Diatomaceous earth, Kieselguhr, consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae.
In 1866, Alfred Nobel discovered that nitroglycerin could be made much more stable if absorbed in diatomite. This allows much safer transport and handling than nitroglycerin in its raw form. He patented this mixture as dynamite in 1867, and the mixture is also referred to as guhr dynamite.
(troffed from Wikipedia)

956823.  Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:56 am Reply with quote

Nobel went on to develop gelignite. Safer than nitro and doesn't sweat the way that dynamite does.

957214.  Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:07 pm Reply with quote

It's worth looking up micrograph images of Keiselguhr. The fine structure of the silica shells is surprisingly intricate.

978123.  Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:16 pm Reply with quote

Before the novelty of adding kieselguhr to nitroglycerine, the Nobel family suffered greatly in the marketing of nitroglycerin because of its proneness to accidental initiation. For example, Alfred Nobel's brother, Emil Nobel, died in one of many accidental explosions in 1864 which furthermore destroyed the entire Nobel factory.

Two years later, another explosion demolished Nobel's nitroglycerine factory, and at that time he turned his attention to the safety issues of transporting nitroglycerine and started mixing kieselguhr into the nitroglycerine; reducing the compound's sensitivity.

It is also quite interesting that Alfred Nobel actually did NOT discover nitroglycerine! It was first discovered in 1846 by the Italian Ascanio Sobrero. However, quickly becoming aware of liquid nitroglycerine's explosive properties, he discontinued his investigations.

It was then Nobel's father, Immanuel Nobel, who developed a process for manufacturing nitroglycerine in 1863.

Nowadays, however, nitroglycerine is not used for military explosives but only for propellants and commercial blasting explosives. Since nitroglycerine is liquid at room temperature, it pours easily into blasting containers, but because of its sensitivity, it can suffer from irregular ballistic performances within rotating shells (for example in propellants). Therefore, its desensitization by absorption into Kieselguhr is essential for commercial use.

Main source
Akhavan, J. - The Chemistry of Explosives

978357.  Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:53 pm Reply with quote

Welcome to the forums Hernammi :-)

978396.  Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:10 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Welcome to the forums Hernammi :-)

Thank you kindly :-)


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