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Dangerous Goods Class 1: Explosive Materials

Posted in Dangerous Goods - 7 Oct 2019, 12:35 PM

The United Nations established Explosive Materials as Dangerous Goods Class 1. The main characteristics are a rapid transformation from the solid to hot gas form, creating a destructive blast with severe damage. The destructive nature requires separate, extremely secured transportation methods for these materials.

Types of Explosive Materials

There are six categories of explosive materials that become templates for dangerous good regulations in various countries. Listed below are the types and their descriptions.

1.      Division 1.1 (Mass Explosion Hazard)

Type 1.1 describes a massive explosion that causes severe damages and blasts almost the entire load. The size of the explosion determines the destruction level, and some flying debris may cause additional damages.

2.      Division 1.2 (Projected Explosion Hazard)

Type 1.2 describes a projected hazard, which damages certain lengths of an area or object, but not causes a massive explosion. Depending on the severity, some parts of the load may not be damaged.

3.      Division 1.3 (Fire and Projected Explosion Hazards)

Type 1.3 describes an explosion that comes with intense heat, yet with a minor projected explosion instead of the massive one.

4.      Division 1.4 (Minor Explosion Hazard)

Type 1.4 describes small, non-hazardous explosion that is mostly contained in its package. There are no large flying fragments, and the damage is not extensive.

5.      Division 1.5 (Insensitive Blasting Agents)

Type 1.5 describes objects or substances with explosive risks. However, these objects have very low sensitivity, which makes it hard for igniting their explosive nature. However, these blasting agents can cause mass explosion hazards equal to type 1.1 explosives.

6.      Division 1.6 (Very Insensitive Blasting Agents)

Type 1.6 describes the weakest blasting agents. Igniting the objects to create an explosion is extremely difficult. The resulting blast only damages the single object, without spreading everywhere like in a mass explosion.

Special Explosive Material Categories

Several countries, such as the United States and Australia, have additional categories for explosive materials, aside from the six main divisions. The toxic explosive ordnances, for example, spread toxic or harmful chemical agents following the explosion. Pyrotechnic explosive ordnances may spread white phosphorous, corrosive agent, or tear gas after the ignition.

Some materials have a particular danger requiring them to be transported in extremely secured ways. Depleted uranium, for example, contains chemicals and radioactive hazards. It cannot be transported without using special storage. Meanwhile, other objects or materials are often lumped as “inert explosive materials”. It means they don’t contain any explosive agents (i.e. empty rifle cartridges).

Examples of Explosive Materials

There are many things considered hazardous explosion materials; some examples are:

  • Dynamite, TNT, and nitroglycerin
  • ANFO (mass-produced industrial explosive)
  • Any detonators and blasting caps
  • Fireworks and firecrackers
  • Flares
  • Rockets and their propellants
  • Fumes
  • Live ammunition
  • Firearms
  • Any parts of destructive objects, such as demolition or blasting technology

Despite the obvious danger of these materials, storing them is quite easy. You can store and transport them by following the official instructions. Most of these explosive materials will not easily explode, especially when you store them in cool, stable storage. They usually only explode when experiencing rough conditions, such as extreme heat or hard vehicle collision.

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