) is one of the strongest known high explosives
. It is more sensitive to shock or friction than TNT
or tetryl, and it is never used alone as a booster. It is primarily used in booster and bursting charges of small caliber ammunition
, in upper charges of detonators in some land mines and shells, and as the explosive core of primacord
PETN is also used as a vasodilator.
PETN formula is C(CH2ONO2)4. It melts toward 141°C. Its preparation involves nitration of pentaerythritol with a mixture of concentrated nitric and sulfuric acid.
C(CH2OH)4 + 4HNO3 -> C(CH2ONO2)4 + 4H2O