* * *abbreviation of Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate,a highly explosive organic compound belonging to the same chemical family as nitroglycerin—i.e., the nitric acid esters of polyalcohols.PETN was introduced as an explosive after World War I. It is used by itself in detonators and detonating fuses (Primacord) and in a mixture, called pentolite, with an equal amount of trinitrotoluene (TNT) in grenades and projectiles.PETN is a colourless, crystalline material that is generally stored and shipped as a mixture with water. It is less sensitive than nitroglycerin but is easily detonated. Valued for its shattering force and efficiency, PETN is the least stable of the common military explosives but retains its properties in storage for longer periods than nitroglycerin or cellulose nitrate (nitrocellulose) does. PETN is also used in medicine as a heart stimulant.
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