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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:16 PM
Original message
okay chemists and other people who know how explosives work
REALLY, how much damage can a low density liquid explosion do? Wouldn't an ordinary soda charger struck with a sharp object have a much higher energy explosion AND produce shrapnel?

Just curious.

Also, it seems like it's pretty easy to name "liquid" explosives used commercially and militarily, but the only real "liquid" explosive I know of is any flammable liquid you can compress and ignite, which is rather hard to do if it's sitting in a hairspray bottle.

What, besides the common molotov cocktail (hey what's that rag hanging out of your baby food?), could they be talking about? Sterno camping fuel?

And more exotic molecules - aren't they kind of kinetically unstable and rapidly degradable? Really, how much damage could you really do with a can of sterno even if you did miraculously manage to remotely ignite it in your luggage?

Is there an energy equivalent list out there somewhere comparing say, a fireworks cherry bomb to a bottle of Mom's homemade eggnog? Is this really much ado about very little?

There seems to be a rather obvious absence of readily available information . . .

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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ammonia and chlorine bleach.
Not explosive, but mixing them releases chlorine gas...not something you want to breathe.

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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. and actually if you bubble that through diesel and then
filter and dry the precipitate ...and then, and then.... but all that's rather difficult to do without blowing yourself up in the lavatory, not to mention it probably smells pretty bad, you'd have to be on an uninterrupted flight to say, Mars, and the line of people waiting to use the jake would probably get pretty long. And you'd look kind of funny waiting to use the john wearing a gas mask.

I'm just wondering how feasible it is for ONE tube of hair gel to blow a hole in the side of a triple seven, regardless of what's in the gel.

I know it makes everyone a little edgy to answer, but it's still worth a reality check.

Reality check - if it was feasible to do, then why haven't we actively cracked down on gels before now?

I think it's a valid question. This is a "safe" scare story. People may have even actually believed they COULD do this, but in reality, could it ever even have remotely worked?

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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Planes do have oxygen on board, though
Not that I would care to be on board a flight where there was even a minimal amount of chlorine gas. Still, it wouldn't necessarily be a disaster.

They could use oxygen, then the pilot could drop to a lower altitude and take in fresh air from the outside.
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm no chemist but Richard Reid had a shoe full of PETN
which he was trying to detonate as he held his feet against the outside wall of the aircraft. PETN is more powerful than TNT and 8 ounce charges can penetrate 5 inches of armour plating so the same quantity would have no problem riping a large hole in an airplane fuselage.

But as for a liquid.... ? Nitro? I don't know.
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mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Nitro is to unstable to carry in liquid form.
The least little jolt can lead to very bad timing for the person carrying it. I had an uncle that used to drive nitro to mines in the 1930's and he said he lost a few friends to pot holes.
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Someone in another thread mentioned Astrolite eom
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. just read a CNN article basically saying that
a real liquid explosive would likely only be incendiary according to the experts. Except that in the case of an incendiary the crew and pilot have options, some of them better left unmentioned. And in the unpressurized luggage hold, detonated by remote?

Not to mention fire extinguishers. You'd have to have like, something the size of Rush Limbaugh on fire to make any difference, and that's kind of hard to sneak aboard in one's butt cleavage, unless you ARE Rush Limbaugh, and people who look like Rush - not really all that into martyrdom and self-immolation.

Oh well. At least this way when they ban watches and anything with a battery it WILL be the end of public air transport. They're so stupid. Why are they so stupid. :shrug:

Do they really believe that "registered" travelers, i.e., people who have been traveling for work for 30 years every day are going to wake up one morning, pull the watch out of their battery and blow up their baby food? Somebody take away their access to the SciFi channel.

It is worthy of mockery. I would add that if the Department of Homeland Security were rocket scientists we'd all be living on Pluto by now instead of worrying about watch batteries and hair gel.

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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good questions.

The sky is falling
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