Chemical time delay detonators are used to control blasting operations in mines and quarries. Slow burning Si-BaSO4 pyrotechnic
delay compositions are employed for long time delays. However, soluble barium compounds may pose environmental and health risks. Hence
inexpensive anhydrous calcium sulfate was investigated as an alternative “green” oxidant. EKVI simulations indicated that stoichiometry
corresponds to a composition that contains less than 30 wt. % Si. However combustion was only supported in the range of 30-70 wt. % Si. In
this range the bomb calorimeter data and burn tests indicate that the reaction rate and energy output decrease with increasing silicon content.
The measured burn rates in rigid aluminium elements ranged from 6.9 to 12.5 mm s1. The reaction product was a complex mixture that
contained crystalline phases in addition to an amorphous calcium containing silicate phase. A reaction mechanism consistent with these
observations is proposed.