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Tetrytol is a high explosive, comprising a mixture of Tetryl and TNT-Tetryleutectic.[1] Typically, the proportion of ingredients (by weight) is 65%, 70%, 75% or 80% tetryl to 35%, 30%, 25% or 20% TNT-Tetryleutectic.[2] Tetrytol is more sensitive than tetryl and less sensitive than TNT.[2] The detonation velocity of tetrytol is between 7310 and 7370 m/s with an average of 7340 m/s[2] as opposed to TNT's detonation velocity of only 6900 m/s.

Characteristics of Tetrytols

Applications of tetrytol are usually military in nature e.g. burster tubes for chemical weapons (e.g. nerve gas shells), blocks of demolition explosives and cast shaped charges.[2]

Dry tetrytol is compatible with copper, brass, aluminum, magnesium, stainless steel, mild steel coated with acid proof paint and mild steel plated with copper, cadmium, zinc or nickel. Magnesium-aluminum alloys are slightly affected by dry tetrytol. Wet tetrytol is compatible with stainless steel and mild steel coated with acid proof black paint. Copper, brass, aluminum, magnesium, magnesium-aluminum alloy, mild steel and mild steel plated with cadmium, copper, zinc or nickel are slightly affected by wet tetrytol.[3]

When stored below 65 °C (149 °F) Tetrytol does not change stability, acid content, sensitivity or brisance. However, temperatures at 65 °C or above will allow the formation of an oily extrudate and distortion of blocks. Although tetryl undergoes partial decomposition on melting, the melting of tetrytol does not have the same effect. Even when Tetrytol is melted and solidified numerous times it causes no change in freezing point, sensitivity to impact or 100 °C vacuum stability test value.[2]

Note: Tetrytol has been discontinued by the U.S. due to the low storage temperature.[2]


  1. ^ US Army TM 9-1300-214 (p.8-121). Department of the Army (US). 1 September 1984. pp. 8–121. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f US Army TM 9-1300-214 (p.8-122). Department of the Army (US). 1 September 1984. pp. 8–122. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  3. ^ US Army TM 9-1300-214 (p.8-123). Department of the Army (US). 1 September 1984. pp. 8–123. Retrieved 30 December 2015.