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The US Department of Transportation

The US Department of Transportation has determined the classification of explosive materials for shipping. An explosive is a chemical material that, under the influence of thermal or mechanical chock, decomposes rapidly with the evolution of large amount of heat and gas (Handbook on the management, 2001). Explosives involve land mines, blocks of explosives (TNT, dynamite, C-4, and others), demolition charges, and other explosives (nitroguanidine, gun powder) with the total weight of about 10 pounds. Naval explosives divided into 3 classes according to the classifications - Class A, Class B, and Class C. These classes differ from each other by the level of hazard of explosives and the principle of the explosion like possessing flammable (low explosive) or detonating (high explosive) hazard. Low explosives deflagrate at a slower rate and create less pressure. High explosives detonate and create higher pressure.

Class A explosives include chemical compounds, mixtures and devices having the detonating hazard and contribute to maximum shipping dander. Examples of such explosives are dynamite, nitroglycerin, picric acid, and fulminate of mercury, lead azide, black powder, detonating primers and blasting caps.

Explosive materials of Class B operate by rapid combustion rather than by detonation and have the flammable hazard, such as rocket ammunition without projectiles, propellant explosives, including some smokeless propellants, special fireworks, starter cartridges for jet engines.

Class C explosives include special types of manufactured products including components of Class A and Class B explosive materials or both of them, but in limited quantities (Code of Federal Regulations, 2004). They also involve definite kinds of fireworks. Examples are explosive bolts, electric squibs, and common fireworks.

Explosives from Class A and B can cause more dangerous situation rather than explosive materials from Class C. Common explosives from Class C are free to buy for an ordinary customer unlike explosives from Class A and B.