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New Thing In Explosives

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Several of the exploslves used In blasting withln the last few years have been combinatlons in which chlorate of potash forms a consplcuous element. With petroleum lt makes "raok-arock," with saltpeter and crirSe gamboge the "oriental powder," once used In opening wells In Pennsylvanla, and with potassium-ferro, ferri-cyanide and sugar an article known as "white powder" and "Germán gunpowder." TJis same salt has alao been mixed with sulphur and various other material for the same general purpose. A new compound of the chlorate, with sugar only, is now reported from South Africa. It is called "thorite," probably after the Scandinavian god of thunder, Thor. For several months this explosive has been tested in coal mines at Nereenlging and elsewhere with excellent results. It is said to be almoat as powerful as dynamite, welght for weight, cheaper to make and virtualljr free from unpleasant fumas. Slr Tiierick Abel, one of the inrentorg of cordite and a leading authority oa xplosives in England, has sent au expert to Cape Town to establlsh a laboratory for further experimenta. Wherein the superiority of thtfrlte over other potassium chlorate powders Hm is not indicated in the brief pres lotices of it at hand. AH of this whole ?roup are very sensitive to the sllghtest friction, and therefore rather dangerous to handle and ship. In some of the mixtures used, especially those contaiuing resinous gums, the particles bekome Consolidated by heat, a result impairing the efficiency of the product, and one which it would not be safe to overeóme by trituration. One would anticípate that moisture would affect sugar in a similar way. But posilbly thorite is guarded from damp air scrupulously until it is used.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat