Amatol

Other Names

France - Explosif du Type N

Germany - Füllpulver

Italy - Amotolo

Japan - Shōtoyaku

Russia - A; AT

Spain - Amotolo; Nitramina Española

Use

Amatols are binary mixtures of ammonium nitrate and TNT. Used for shell and bomb fillings.

Amatols have been universally used, by all nations, in all types of ammunition as a substitute for TNT.  The lower Ammonium Nitrate content Amatols are generally used in smaller ammunition. In larger ammunition the Ammonium Nitrate content can be increased and still maintain a high order detonation mixture. However, the development of more powerful binary mixtures, such as Composition B and Pentolite, and of aluminized mixtures, such as Torpex and HBX, have lessened the need for Amatols.

Amatols were used in Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, USSR, Spain and USA.

In the United States 50/50 Amatol has been used in Light Case, General Purpose and Semi Armor Piercing bombs; and in some shells.

60/40 and 80/20 Amatols were used in various kinds of shells.

65/35 Amatol was used in some shells and bombs during the early part of World War 2.

The rapid production during World War 2 of a huge supply of TNT removed the necessity of using Ammonium Nitrate as a substitute for TNT. Another factor contributing to the disuse of Amatols as military explosives was the appearance during WW II of other explosives, such as PETN and RDX and their binary and ternary mixtures, which are more powerful than TNT.

Source(s)

TM 9-1300-214, Military Explosives (w/C4, 1990)

FSTC 381-5042, Handbook of Foreign Explosives (1965)

OP 2216, Volume 1 - Aircraft Bombs, Fuzes, and Associated Components (1960)

OP 1280, Aircraft Bombs (1955)

OP 1664, Volume 1 - US Explosive Ordnance (1947)

USNBD - Bombs and Fuzes, Pyrotechnics (1945)

TM 9-1904, Ammunition Inspection Guide (1944)