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Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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high explosive

1. n. [Perforating]
Chemical explosive material having an extremely high reaction rate that creates very high combustion pressures, unlike low explosives that have a much lower reaction rate and are commonly used as propellants. High explosives are further categorized as primary- and secondary-high explosive. Primary-high explosives are very sensitive, can be detonated easily and are generally used only in percussion and electrical detonators. Secondary-high explosives are less sensitive, require a high-energy shock wave to achieve detonation and are safer to handle. Secondary-high explosives are used in almost all elements of a ballistic chain, other than the detonator, such as in detonating cord and shaped charges.