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detonator (dĕˈtənāˌtər), type of explosive that reacts with great rapidity and is used to set off other, more inert explosives. Fulminate of mercury mixed with potassium chlorate is a commonly used detonator. The word is also applied to equipment which, by flame, spark, percussion, friction, or pressure, is used to set off a chemical detonator.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a high-explosive charge intended to ensure the complete explosion of the main charge of a shell, mine, aerial bomb, or blasting charge. Pressed cylindrical high-explosive charges (tetryl, phlegmatized hexogens of pentaerythritol tetranitrate [PETN], or trinitrotoluene [TNT]), which are more sensitive to detonation than the explosive of the charge, are usually used. One form of detonator is the so-called TNT plug, which is used for ammunition with a bursting charge of ammonites; it also protects the main charge from atmospheric moisture.

The weight and size of detonators are determined by the quantity of explosive in the bursting charge of the ammunition, the form and sensitivity to detonation of the explosive, and the purpose of the ammunition. An additional detonator is used if the power of the igniter detonator is inadequate.


Vzryvchatye veshchestva i porokha. Moscow, 1955.
lakhontov, A. D. Vzryvnye raboty i vzryvchatye materialy. Moscow, 1959.
Tret’iakov, G. M. Boepripasy artillerii. Moscow, 1947.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A device, such as a blasting cap, employing a sensitive primary explosive to detonate a high-explosive charge.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Using digital communication between an electronic blasting device and detonators, the technology delivers tangible value with benefits ranging from improved blasting efficiency to enhanced safety.
The detonators are described as small discs, approximately 5cm (two inches) in diameter, with two lead strips either side.
The bombs planted, thus, had as many as three detonators. The perpetrators believed that the three going off simultaneously would boost the bombs' potency.
The dependences of penetration rate of the mine imitator, displacement of the stud of the detonator's cap towards capsule-detonator and penetration depth of the mine imitator into the soil on time obtained by the simulation using MATLAB 6 [5] and LS-DYNA [6] are shown in Figs.
That was last Saturday, and Detonator again had to settle for minor honours, but he ran very well, challenging front-runner Laterly from just inside the three-furlong marker, but was unable to subdue him.
But they are warning people that if they come across any of the the detonators, they should avoid touching them.
March 13, 2004: Police make their first arrests, including a Moroccan-born man who sold the pre-paid cards used in the phone detonators. Al Qaida in Europe claims responsibility for the bombings in a video found near a Madrid mosque.
Looking at the hardware specifically, there are three main components -*- the detonator, the logger and the blaster.
This article focuses on the nonelectric delay detonator, which has become the dominant type of detonator in the commercial explosives market, replacing other products such as electric detonators and safety fuse assemblies because it offers a higher degree of safety and greater ease of use.
New on the market is ICI's Excel shock-tube detonator. A shock of compressed air activates the timing mechanism within the detonator.
On Tuesday, after the arrest of a 38-year-old man suspected of critically injuring an officer during a shootout in Ypsonas, authorities were led to a remote location near Ayios Mamas where they found an Ak 47, 7.5 kilogrammes of Semtex, a detonator, and a grenade detonator.
As an extra benefit to the user, any delay can be assigned to any detonator and the detonators can be connected to the busline in any convenient order--not just in the firing order.