Evolution of Explosives

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Submitted By Kilo25
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Research Paper

The Evolution of Explosives

SC 413, Hazards and Chemistry of Explosives to First Responders

The destructive power of explosives has been felt and documented in history as very powerful, but the impact, development and change that it took during the 20th Century will echo in eternity. Many important events like the civil war, the movement of peoples from Europe, and the development of nuclear power led to the intense development of explosives by countries. Most were for the purpose of defense, others for industry, mining and development of technology. These explosive devices were mostly created by acts of war in pursuit of better defense weapons.
The Civil war in the United States led to the development of many explosive devices. George and Gabriel Rains two Confederate soldiers had the ability to create explosive devices in the civil war. One such device was a black iron cast which resembled a lump of coal. Since it resembled a lump of coal Confederate soldiers would drop this object in a ships coal load. Once it was shoveled into the boiler the explosive device would react with the heat from the boiler causing an explosion. George and Gabriel Rains became known as the “Bomb Brothers” for their expertise in developing explosive devices and gun powder.
Gabriel Rains developed what was to be the South’s first torpedo which could be used in land or water. The torpedo was made from sheet iron and a fuse which was protected by brass cap covered with beeswax solution. This became known as “Rains Paten.” Another development that came about due to a desperate act by Gabriel Rains, during a conflict with the Union Army in Richmond Virginia, was the land mine. Gabriel Rains and his men used ten inch artillery shells equipped with sensitive fuses and primers,…...

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