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The shock required to detonate C4

  1. Feb 24, 2012 #1

    I need to know how much shock is needed to detonate a C4 plastic explosive for my report in chemistry. I searched for it, but I didnt find a certain number. Somewhere I read it's about 4900 m/s of detonation velocity needed to create the shock, but it was from a source I wouldnt trust. As I understand, the shock/detonation velocity of the blasting cap needs to be over the speed of sound in C4 in order to create that shockwave. So I guess it would be nice to know the speed of sound in C4 aswell.

    Also, I've heard from several sources that high current through C4 can detonate it? Is this true?

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2012 #2
    The only way I know of how to blow up C4 is though a blasting cap. You can hook up and electrical switch t the blasting cap to set the blasting cap off then the C4. I would say the min would be what the blasting cap can do, C4 is extreamly stable you can even set it on fire and stomp on it with no problems.
  4. Feb 24, 2012 #3
    Your post doesnt help me. Please read my original post again and see what I have requested for.
  5. Feb 24, 2012 #4


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    I have read it several times
    and I also dont really know what else you want
    Megaman gave you good info

    I dont know about hi current, its always been blasting caps
    as commented earlier C4 is very stable, you can even strike it hard with a hammer

    I only learnt these thing through onsite education from a blasing technician in a mine site

    so do you want to elaborate a bit ?

  6. Feb 24, 2012 #5


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    You are looking at something in the range of 1 to 4 GPa of pressure before detonation of C4.
  7. Feb 24, 2012 #6
    Is it a matter of pressure? I assumed it was a shock which supplied simultaneous pressure and heat. If you put some in a hydraulic press I don't think it will detonate at any pressure. Or am I wrong?
  8. Feb 25, 2012 #7


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    from my understanding that is true. its the shock factor

    Im not even going to risk googling such info... with the paranoia in the world today,
    I wouldnt be suprised to have federal police knocking on my door in quick time

  9. Feb 25, 2012 #8
    He did give valid info, but nothing I cant find from google or wikipedia.
    What I precisely asked for was what would be the force/blasting power/detonation velocity/shock (not sure about the unit) of the blasting cap in order to give C4 that kick-off reaction.

    Im sorry if I was unclear.

    Thanks in advance
  10. Feb 25, 2012 #9


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    Thermal shock works on most stable explosives too.

    TNT does need a 2000 deg in a fractin of a second for a thermal shock detonation.
    For more info on thermal shock sources search lightbulb fillament.

    No ideea for C4, 2 wires with electric current clearly don't work it is very likley an insulator.
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