The ammonium nitrate functions as an oxidizer and aluminium as a power enhancer. To some extent the aluminium makes it more sensitive to detonation. The use of the relatively cheap ammonium nitrate and aluminium make it a replacement for pure TNT.
The mixture can suffer because ammonium nitrate is highly hygroscopic. Ammonal burns vigorously when open to the air, but detonates when confined inside some form of casing.
The detonation velocity of ammonal is approximately 4,400 metres per second.
Not all of the mines that had been laid at Messines were detonated. Two of the original 21 mines were not ignited because they were outside the area of the offensive. On 17 July 1955, a lightning strike set off one of the remaining mines. There were no human casualties, but one cow was killed. The 21st mine is believed to have been found, but no attempt has been made to remove it. It is possible that the one unexploded mine was dismantled, because German tunnellers were coming too close to the chamber.
Agency Reviews Patent Application Approval Request for "Method for Reclaiming High Explosive from Warhead by Melting-Out in Supercritical Fluid"
Feb 07, 2013; By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors LI, JIN-SHUH...