28 terms

Chapter 11: Forensic Aspects of Arson and Explosion Investigations

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Accelerant
Any material used to start or sustain a fire. The most common accelerants are combustible liquids.
Black Powder
Normally, a mixture of potassium nitrate, carbon, and sulfur in the ratio 75/15/10.
Combustion
Rapid combination of oxygen with another substance accompained by the production of noticeable heat and light.
Deflagration
A very rapid oxidation reaction accompanied by the generation of a low-intensity pressure wave that can disrupt the surroundings.
Detonating Cord
A cordlike explosive containg a core of high-explosive material, usually PETN; also called primacord.
Detonation
An extremely rapid oxidation reaction accompanied by a violent disruptive effect and an intense, high-speed shock wave.
Endothermic Reaction
A chemical transformation in which heat energy absorbed from the surroundings.
Energy
The combine ability or potential of a system or material to do work. Some forms of energy are heat energy, chemical energy, and electrical energy.
Exothermic Reaction
A chemical transformation in which heat energy is liberated.
Explosion
A chemical or mechanical action resulting in the rapid expansion of gases.
Flammable Range
The entire range of possible gas or vapor fuel concentrations in air that are capable of burning.
Flash Point
The minimum temperature at which a liquid fuel produces enough vapor to burn.
Glowing Combustion
Burning at the fuel-air interface. Examples are a red-hot charcoal or a burning cigarette.
Heat of Combustion
The heat liberated during combustion.
High Explosive
An explosive with a velocity of detonation greater than 1,000 meters per second. Examples include dynamite and RDX.
Hydrocarbon
Any compound consisting only of carbon and hydrogen.
Ignition Temperature
The minimum temperature at which a fuel will spontaneously ignite.
Low Explosive
An explosive with a velocity of detonation less than 1,000 meters per second. Examples include black powder and smokeless powder.
Modus Operandi
An offender's pattern of operation.
Oxidation
The combination of oxygen with other substances to produce new substances.
Oxidizing Agent
A substance that supplies oxygen to a chemical reaction.
Primary Explosive
A high explosive that is easily detonated by heat or shock.
Pyrolysis
The decomposition of organic mattery by heat.
Safety Fuse
A cord containing a core of black powder. It is used to carry a flame at a uniform rate to an explosive charge.
Secondary Explosive
A high explosive that normally must be detonated by a primary explosive.
Smokeless Powder ( Double-base)
An explosive consisting of a mixture of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin.
Smokeless Powder (Single-base)
An explosive consisting of nitrocellulose.
Spontaneous Combustion
A fire caused by a natural heat-producing process in the presence of sufficient air and fuel.