Low Density Ammonium Nitrate (LDAN) Anti-Caking Agents
Ammonium nitrate (AN) is widely used as a low cost blasting agent. It has a high tendency to absorb moisture leading to degradation through several processes including surface recrystallization which results in crystal bridging and can generate severe caking if the product is not protected from moisture ingress. Not only is the moisture itself detrimental to ammonium nitrate’s use as a blasting agent (loss of sensitivity), generation of caked product results in a loss of porosity and air voidage. This in turn results in poor oil absorption and eventual reduction in performance of the AN with respect to its intended function i.e. as a blasting agent. Moreover, severely caked AN in warehouses ultimately has an associated increase in sensitivity with the capability of explosion.