What is a Slow Blow Fuse?
Slow fuse explosives are a type of military explosive that are designed to detonate after a certain trigger pressure has been reached, typically after the explosives have been subjected to higher pressures and temperatures. The idea is that they will detonate at a slower rate so as not to cause any damage until the initial impulse has dissipated. Slow fuse explosives come in two main varieties—delay devices, which delay detonation, and fast-burning devices, which detonate quickly. Most slow fuse fuses are designed to detonate within milliseconds of being exposed to an external stimulus but some slow fuse devices allow for delayed activation up to several seconds or even minutes. They are useful in situations where you don’t want the blast radius of an explosive bomb but still need it to explode at a certain time.
How Do Slow Blow Fuses Work?
Plastic explosives are made up of a sensitive chemical compound that can be triggered to explode by a specific level of friction. When the friction between the explosive and the surface it is on reaches a certain level, the explosives chemical compound is activated and explodes in a manner similar to a firecracker. The chemical compound involved in slow-burning explosives is a plastic explosive, but it is not activated by friction. Instead, it is activated by the presence of an electric charge. A slow blow fuse uses a charge of static electricity to activate the plastic explosives. When it comes into contact with an external stimulus such as an impact, the static electricity causes the explosives to ignite. This causes an explosion that is weaker than an explosive blast, and produces only a small amount of sound. Most slow blow fuses are placed at the end of a fuse, where they are triggered by the fuse burning out.
Types of Slow Blow Fuses
– Roughly 60% of all military explosive devices are slow blow. – The remaining 40% are fast burn. – Roughly half the slow burn fuses are delay devices and half are fast burn. – With both types, all the fuses are designed to detonate at a specific pressure and temperature.
– Delay devices rely on friction to activate the explosive compound. – They are designed to detonate after a certain level of friction has been reached. – This means that the triggering event, which could be a pressure or impact, has less distance to travel before the fuse is activated. – The ideal setting for a delay fuse is when the triggering event is coming in contact with something that would normally cause it to move, but it is not yet moving too much. This can be a wall where the triggering event is coming in contact with a wall and not yet the floor. – A fuse with a longer delay will activate after the triggering event has travelled further. – A shorter delay will activate when the triggering event is still at the original distance. This would be useful if you want to detonate the bomb first before it is even dropped. – Delay fuses are often used in combination with a triggering device such as a tripwire. – When the triggering event trips the tripwire, the delay fuse is activated and sets off the explosive. – This is useful for creating a timed explosion without having to rely on someone tripping the tripwire and then having enough time to react before the explosive goes off.
Fast Burning Devices
– These fuses are designed to detonate as fast as possible. – This means that the fuse will activate when the triggering event comes in contact with the triggering device. – To achieve this, a fast burning fuse will have a smaller distance between the triggering device and the explosive charge. – This allows the triggering event to travel through the fuse before the charge has had a chance to activate. – This is useful for creating a fast, short-ranged explosion.
Benefits of Slow Blow Explosives
– The slower the detonation speed, the less damage is done to the surroundings. – The difference between the sound of a blast and a thump is significant, especially when it comes to military use. Blasts knock down an area while thumps only make a sound. – Slow fuse explosives are ideal for use in situations where you want the blast to be weak, but you still need the timing to be correct such as if you want a delayed explosion caused by a tripwire but not a loud bang.
Limitations of Slow Blow Explosives
– Fast burning fuses are useful for creating powerful explosions but are extremely loud and produce a large amount of smoke. – This means that they are not ideal for use in covert military operations such as spying, raiding, or carrying out sneak attacks. – Also, they can be hard to use in damp areas where they will not ignite quickly due to the dampness. – Since there has to be a charge between the triggering device and the explosive, there has to be a path for the triggering event to travel through before it reaches the explosive. – This means that a fast burning fuse will not work well in areas that are covered in dirt or have a lot of trees in the way. – Slow blowing explosives are dangerous when handled incorrectly.
Regardless the type of fuse you choose, always use caution when handling explosives. Slow fuse explosives are ideal for use in covert military operations or in scenarios where you don’t want the blast radius of an explosive bomb but still need it to explode at a certain time.