What It Is
Lead azide (LA) is a white primary explosive composed of lead and nitrogen. Three common varieties of LA are produced based on different additives: dextrin (DLA), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and CMC (RD-1333). Manufacture with these additives optimizes the crystal shape so that the LA will flow through automatic loading equipment. The additives also serve to reduce the sensitivity of t he lead azide.
Why We Like Them
LA is a very versatile energetic material. We typically purchase inexpensive LA from an outside source but will manufacture high sensitivity LA for unusual applications. At PacSci EMC it is used as an initiating agent, as a transfer charge and in stab primer applications. Some of the explosives we use it with include:
What makes it such an effective primary explosive is that it detonates quickly, is thermally stable and has a long shelf life in hermetic applications.