Trinitrotoluene facts for kids
TNT (Trinitrotoluene, also called Trotyl, Tritol, Tolite and Tol) is a powerful, shattering (brisant) nitroaromatic explosive, somewhat similar to dynamite (which is based on the nitric acid ester nitroglycerin, however).
Sometimes TNT is used to mean dynamite, or dynamite is used to mean TNT, because they can both be used in similar ways; however the two materials are distinct, different chemicals with only some of their properties (such as the brisance, their shattering power) being similar while other properties (such as stability and sensitivity) are entirely different.
Traces of TNT can be detected by analytical forensic chemical investigation even in extremely small amounts. For example, if a person has been involved in a crime using TNT, scientists can track it down by testing hair or clothing samples to see if TNT traces are found on them. These traces can remain in the hair or in the fabric of the clothes even after many washings. TNT is a nitroaromatic explosive and it can be dangerous both as an explosive and for being poisonous if handled incorrectly. Soldiers, engineers and workers who must work with TNT should therefore observe strict safety measures when handling this explosive.
Images for kids
M107 artillery shells. All are labelled to indicate a filling of "Comp B" (mixture of TNT and RDX) and have fuzes fitted
Trinitrotoluene Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.