Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine
Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine chemical structure
|Molar mass||208.169 g/mol|
|Explosive velocity||~4511 m/s|
|Melting point||Decomposes at 75 °C, Ignites spontaneously at 133 °C|
|Appearance||white crystalline solid|
Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, or HMTD is a high explosive organic chemical compound, first synthesised in 1885 by Legler. The theorised structure lent itself well to acting as an initiating, or primary explosive. While still quite sensitive to shock and friction, it was relatively stable compared to other initiating explosives of the time, such as mercury fulminate, and proved to be relatively inexpensive and easy to synthesise. As such, it was quickly taken up as a primary explosive in mining applications. However, it has since been superseded by even more stable compounds such as tetryl.
Despite no longer being used in any official application, it remains a fairly popular home-made explosive and has been used in a large number of suicide bombings throughout the world, and was possibly used in the 7 July 2005 London bombings. The New York Times reported it as the planned explosive in the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot. 
Preparation and properties
Like other organic peroxides such as acetone peroxide, HMTD is an unstable compound that is sensitive to shock, friction, and heat. This makes the substance extremely dangerous to manufacture. It also reacts with most common metals, which can lead to detonation. HMTD degrades too quickly for modern commercial and industrial applications, becoming useless in a matter of weeks.
- ↑ Legler, L. Ber. 1885, 18, 3343-3351.
- ↑ Taylor, C. A.; Rinkenbach, W. H. Army Ordnance 1924. 5, 463-466
- ↑ "London bombers used everyday materials" Reuters, August 4, 2005, retrieved April 16, 2006
- ↑ Van Natta Jr., Don, Elaine Sciolino, Stephen Grey. "In Tapes, Receipts and a Diary, Details of the British Terror Case", New York Times, 2006-08-27. Retrieved on 2006-10-12.
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