Ammonal is an explosive made up of ammonium nitrate, trinitrotoluene, and aluminium powder mixed in a ratio of roughly 22:67:11.

The ammonium nitrate functions as an oxidizer and aluminium as a power enhancer. To some extent the aluminium makes it more sensitive to detonation. The use of the relatively cheap ammonium nitrate and aluminium make it a replacement for pure TNT.

The mixture can suffer because ammonium nitrate is highly hygroscopic. Ammonal burns vigorously when open to the air, but detonates when confined inside some form of casing.

The detonation velocity of ammonal is approximately 4,400 metres per second.


From early 1915 the British Army employed ammonal for their mines during World War I, starting with the Hawthorn Ridge mine during the Battle of the Somme. British ammonal comprised a mixture of 65% ammonium nitrate, 15% TNT, 17% coarse aluminum and 3% charcoal by weight. Three of the mines used at the Battle of Messines which were exploded at the start of the Third Battle of Ypres contained 30,000 lbs (over 13.6 metric tons) of ammonal, a fourth contained 20,000 lbs (over 9 metric tons). Ammonal used for military mining purposes was generally contained within metal cans or rubberised bags to prevent moisture ingress problems.

Not all of the mines that had been laid at Messines were detonated. Two of the original 21 mines were not ignited because they were outside the area of the offensive. On 17 July 1955, a lightning strike set off one of the remaining mines. There were no human casualties, but one cow was killed. The 21st mine is believed to have been found, but no attempt has been made to remove it. It is possible that the one unexploded mine was dismantled, because German tunnellers were coming too close to the chamber.

Ammonal remains in use as an industrial explosive. Typically, it is used for quarrying or mining purposes.

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  • Ammonal — (zusammengesetzter Name aus Ammoniumnitrat und Aluminium) ist ein bewährter Sprengstoff auf Basis von Ammoniumnitrat und Aluminium welcher 1900 von zwei Chemikern gleichzeitig und unabhängig voneinander erfunden wurde. Der Aluminiumanteil im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ammonal — [ amɔnal ] n. m. • 1909; de ammon(ium) et al(uminium) ♦ Mélange de nitrate d ammonium et d aluminium, utilisé pour la fabrication des explosifs. Des ammonals. ● ammonal nom masculin (de ammonium et aluminium) Explosif composé de nitrate d… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Ammonal — Am mo*nal , n. [Ammonium + aluminium.] An explosive consisting of a mixture of powdered aluminum and ammonium nitrate. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ammonal — Pour les articles homonymes, voir TNT. Ammonal Général No CAS …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ammonal — amonalas statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Sprogstamasis mišinys iš NH₄NO₃, Al miltelių ir trinitrotolueno. atitikmenys: angl. ammonal rus. аммонал …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • ammonal — /am euh nal /, n. a high explosive consisting chiefly of powdered aluminum, ammonium nitrate, and TNT. [1900 05; AMMON(IUM) + AL(UMINUM)] * * * …   Universalium

  • ammonal — noun an explosive made up of ammonium nitrate, trinitrotoluene, and aluminium powder …   Wiktionary

  • ammonal — n. explosive composed of powdered aluminium and nitrate of ammonium …   English contemporary dictionary

  • ammonal — am·mo·nal …   English syllables

  • ammonal — /ˈæmənəl/ (say amuhnuhl) noun a high explosive, a mixture of ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminium. {shortened form of ammon(ium nitrate and) al(uminium)} …   Australian English dictionary