No bang is produced, just a short crack, and no pieces of material are thrown around
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The situation is very different to what we know from quarries where blasting takes place: firstly, you can stay close to the scene and don’t have to take cover, and secondly, there is no dull bang, just a short crack. The sound is not caused by an explosion, but is the result of the rupture of the stone structure.
The cloud that rises does not consist of rock debris hurled away by the force of the explosion, but of dust that previously lay on the ground or emerged from the rock.
And: there is no wave of vibrations running away from the site of the event, as is normally perceived as part of the blast.
The Brazilian company Voi Termoquimica has developed a new type of mineral mixture called “Minax.“ which can be used to break up all hard materials, from rock to concrete, in a controlled manner. This can also be done in sensitive environments, for example in the middle of a built-up area. We met the company at the natural stone fair in Fortaleza (Fortaleza Brazil Stone Fair, FBSF).
Minax is a mixture of minerals and metals that looks like dark dust and can be safely stored and transported in bags or cans.
The substance is ignited with an electric shock that generates a temperature of around 1000 degrees Celsius for a moment. This impulse triggers a chemical reaction that suddenly releases gas, which expands with great force – as we know from real explosions, for example during a volcanic eruption.
Of course, the new agent can only work in a closed area. So, as usual, holes are drilled into the rock and filled with the mixture. The electrical cable with the detonator is also added.
As far as the required amount of Minax is concerned, you can rely on experience: if there is too little, the rock will not crack, if there is too much, the excess will burn.
The mixture should be handled with gloves, as it can penetrate human skin. Tests in Italy and the UK have also confirmed that the material is harmless in this respect.
In Brazil, there have already been numerous projects where the mixture has been used in urban environments, for example to demolish buildings or to gain new building ground in rocky areas.
The explosives experts of the Brazilian military had previously taken a close look at the matter and approved Minax for civil use.
The webpage only gives the contact details of the company, which is in the demolition business (Portuguese).
You can find short videos on the Instagram page.
(12.01.2024, USA: 01.12.2024)