WorldWide Drilling Resource

14 JANUARY 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® Electronic Detonators vs. Electric Detonators - There IS a Difference Adapted from Information by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) Although electronic and electric detonators may look similar and serve the same function, they are very different. Here is a list of a few key differences: Lead Wire Attachment - The wire leads of an electronic detonator do not attach directly to a match head or bridge wire like electric detonators. It is the direct connection to the match head or bridge wire that makes an electric detonator susceptible to initiation from static, stray current, and/or radio frequency energy, while electronic detonators are not. Added Protection - Electronic detonators typically have several different forms of protection built into the design to provide protection from extraneous energy sources: a spark gap device to protect against static discharge events (high-voltage spikes from static buildup on personnel, equipment, etc.), the use of current-limiting resistors, and other devices or design features. Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) - Both electric and electronic detonators can be damaged by an EMP, but electronic detonators generally have built-in protection from these types of incidents. Pressure-Induced Damage - Both electric and electronic detonators can incorporate dynamic and static pressure resistance. However, electronic detonators (using microchip technology and logic to provide timing and firing control) may have a higher susceptibility to damage. Enhanced Control Systems - Electronic blasting machines are the only devices designed to provide password protection, programming capability, along with the energy levels needed to charge the electronic detonators in a circuit and send a fire command. Interchangeability - Electronic detonating systems are unique, and system components must NEVER be interchanged. Users should read and understand all aspects of the system they use and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. On the other hand, electric detonators can be used with any appropriate firing device. As always, users should consult the manufacturer for proper training information before attempting to operate any electronic blasting initiation system. Once trained, operators will have a better understanding of the enhanced level of protection and blast control capability offered by electronic systems. Remember, every system design is different and not all electronic systems are created equal. EXB Diagram courtesy of IME. What is your company up to? Call 850-547-0102 ~ let us know ~ we can spread the word!