The Risks Associated with the Storage of Small Quantities of Gunpowder and Shooters Powders in Containers and Buildings
HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM)
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For many years in the UK, significant quantities of both gunpowder and smokeless powders have been held in domestic premises. Extensive trials have recently been carried out to consider the risks presented by the storage of such materials in these situations. The work has demonstrated that the primary hazard from smokeless powders results from the fireball potential. With gunpowder there is an additional significant risk of damaging overpressure effects. Ignition and deflagration of 0.5kg of gunpowder inside a thin-walled tin, as supplied, can blow out the walls of a room. Increased confinement increases potential overpressure effects. The cladding of metal securitystorage cabinets with wood 25mm provides a significant increase in the delay between fire engulfment and ignition of the explosives they contain. Tests have also shown that tins of gunpowder can be ejected from an explosion intact, which suggests that a reduction in hazard might be achieved by packaging the material in smaller quantities. Further work is planned.
- Safety Engineering
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Ammunition and Explosives