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A deflagration is a relatively slow explosion, generating only subsonic pressure waves. This sort of explosion is usually produced by rapid chemical combustion reactions, for instance of gunpowder in a firearm, or fuel in an internal combustion engine. Contrast detonation, where the pressure waves are supersonic.

Deflagrations are easier to control than detonations, and better suited when the goal is to move an object (a bullet in a gun, or a piston in an engine) with the force of the expanding gas.

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