An investigation into the forensic analysis of current and emerging organic explosives

David Alan DeTata

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    160 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] The use of Improvised Explosive Devices (lED's) to cause terror, damage property or take life is a common occurrence as a result of their ease of procurement and proven effect. The complex forensic investigation process undertaken to determine the explosive(s) involved requires knowledge of the properties of explosive materials and the analytical methods available for their identification. The term explosive can be defined as a solid or liquid substance, alone or mixed with one another, which are in a metastable state and are capable, for this reason, of undergoing a rapid chemical reaction without the participation of external reactants such as atmospheric oxygen (l). Alternatively an explosive can be defined as a substance capable of producing the four requirements of an explosion; that is, capable of producing gas, capable of producing energy, with both occurring rapidly and all in a self sustaining reaction (2). For an explosive to be of practical value it must be stable under anticipated storage conditions, it must burn, explode or detonate only when required, be sufficiently sensitive to be initiated as requested and the initiation stimulus should be small compared to the output of the explosive (3). The explosive must also be capable of doing work on its environment, which in the case of military explosives, be capable of converting the products of its exothermic decomposition into kinetic energy of the air in a blast wave, a rocket, a bullet or a shell etc. (3)...
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2012


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