With the highly specific requirements for detonation projects today, it is no wonder that electronic detonators are considered the standard on many jobs. The electronic detonator, or electronic det, provides a safe and secure way to detonate explosives with the maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
In the most basic and simplistic form, all types of detonators work in the same way. They allow a small amount of the primary explosive material or another type of material to create the shock that triggers the explosion of the primary explosive.
In the past, the electric detonator was rather a rudimentary device that often used a hand crank or the use of a circuit from a battery to create the spark that triggers the smaller detonation and then the large detonation. Now, the electronic detonator systems operate on microchips that provide for very specific blast control and timing, increasing both efficiency and safety with every blast.
As mentioned above, the early forms of the electric detonators were pretty basic. They were actually developed in the early mid part of the century, with the first patent granted 1868 to H. Julius Smith.
This was a mercury and fulminate mixture with a platinum bridge wiring and a specific plug to control the actual ignition of the initial material. By the early part of the 1900s there were half-second delay electric detonators in use, and just a few years later in the early part of the 1940s, that time had dropped down to just milliseconds for the delay.
With this level of control, it was and is possible for very precise types of explosive sequences to be developed that allow specific blasting options. This is important not just in demolition types of detonations, but also in blasting for mining and construction types of applications.
The Electronic Difference
With the advance of electronics in the 1960s and on, the use of electronic det for extremely specific blasting sequences became possible. This allows for complete control over the sequence of the blast and increasing the number of detonations that can be controlled through the system.
The developed of the electronic det opened the door to the new advancement in pre-programmed and programmable types of electronic detonators. With complex sequencing as simple as tapping into the software, these are considered by many explosives professionals to be the future in the industry when it comes to wireless technology and blasting.
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