Tetrazene explosive

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Tetrazene explosive
Structural formula
Ball-and-stick model
IUPAC name
1-(5-tetrazolyl)-3-guanyl tetrazene hydrate
31330-63-9 YesY
Jmol interactive 3D Image
PubChem 5486788
Molar mass 188.15 g/mol
Appearance Pale yellow/colorless crystal plates
Density 1.7 g/cm3
Boiling point Decomposes at 160 °C
Explosive data
Shock sensitivity High
Friction sensitivity High
Detonation velocity ~4000 m/s
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Tetrazene (1-(5-tetrazolyl)-3-guanyl tetrazene hydrate)[1] is an explosive material used for sensitization of the priming compositions. It is a derivative of the compound with the IUPAC name tetrazene.

Tetrazene is slightly more impact-sensitive than mercury fulminate. When pressed enough, its sensitivity is reduced or destroyed; this is known as dead pressing. It also decomposes in boiling water. In contact with fire, it readily explodes, producing large amounts of black smoke. It is prepared by reacting sodium nitrite with an aminoguanidine salt dissolved in acetic acid at 30–40 °C.


  1. ^ Duke, J. R. C. (1971). "X-Ray crystal and molecular structure of ‘tetrazene’, (‘Tetracene’), C2H8N10O". Journal of the Chemical Society D: Chemical Communications 1971 (1): 2–3. doi:10.1039/C29710000002.