Primary Explosive

What It Is

BNCP is a relatively insensitive primary explosive made from sodium 5-nitrotetrazole, cobalt and potassium perchlorate. It was developed at PacSci EMC in conjunction with Sandia National Labs. It’s typically orange in color and both it and it’s combustion products are relatively non-toxic.

BNCP insensitive primary explosive

Key Features

Why We Like It

BNCP is a relatively stable (to 350 °F) material that is unique in that it is a DDT explosive. In order to function as a detonating explosive, it must be confined in plastic, aluminum or steel
housings/parts. In an unconfined state such as a loose powder, it will not sustain detonation. This makes it quite safe compared to other primary explosives during handling and loading. Once confined, it functions like any other primary explosive.

PacSci EMC uses BNCP in it’s FIREX line and it also finds applications in laser initiated ordnance where it is commonly doped with carbon black. PacSci EMC is the primary producer of BNCP and manufactures a variety of particle sizes for custom applications. Other manufacturers make it for research and development purposes, but don’t typically make BNCP in large quantities.


How You Should Handle It

BNCP is a relatively insensitive energetic material and is not particularly static or heat-sensitive. It presents only mild friction and impact hazard compared to other primary explosives.

Also, moisture, light and heat have minimal effects on BNCP. However, we suggest storing it in a closed puck and a low humidity environment.

When you’re working with this material, use a velostat scoop and make sure you’re grounded. Proper safety wear includes a smock, safety glasses and conductive shoes.

Cleanup of minor spills should be done with a 50% IPA/DI water mix and a wet paper towel for blotting. Like other EM’s, major spills require evacuation of the area.