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Primacord is a brand of detonating cord used in blasting. The registered trademark Primacord was originally owned by the Ensign-Bickford Company;[1] Ensign-Bickford sold the trademark to Dyno Nobel in 2003,[2] who manufacture it in their Graham, Kentucky factory.[citation needed] The name is also used as a genericized trademark for any detonating cord.[citation needed]


Primacord consists of a continuous core of PETN, RDX or other high explosive, bound by textile yarns and finished with plastic and wax as waterproofing agents.[3] It is produced in eight strengths:

Name Loading g/m (gr/ft) Colour
Primacord 1 1.5 (7.5) Yellow
Primacord 2 2.1 (10) Orange
Primacord 3 3.2 (15) Red
Primacord 4Y 3.6 (18) Yellow
Primacord 4R 3.6 (18) Red
Primacord 5 5.3 (25) Red
Primacord 8 8.6 (40) Red
Primacord 10 10.6 (50) Yellow

Primaline is a related product differing principally in having a plastic jacket instead of textile. Primaline is also available in higher loadings, up to 85 g/m (400 gr/ft):

Name Loading g/m (gr/ft) Colour
Primaline 4D 3.6 (18) Orange
Primaline 4HS 3.6 (18) Clear with blue stripe
Primaline 5 5.3 (25) Orange with wax coating
Primaline 5D 5.3 (25) Orange
Primaline 5NF 5.3 (25) Yellow
Primaline 8D 8.6 (40) Orange
Primaline 8HS 8.6 (40) Clear with black stripe
Primaline 10HS 10.6 (50) Clear with red stripe
Primaline 21 21.3 (100) Clear
Primaline 32 31.9 (150) Clear
Primaline 42 42.5 (200) Clear
Primaline 85 85 (400) Light green


Primacord is initiated with a blasting cap or by a donor line of detonating cord or other high explosive. It detonates along its entire length at a velocity of approximately 23,000 feet (7,000 meters) per second. It is used to create explosive effects and to build reliable explosive charges. It is used in conjunction with other high explosive materials to form charges, including linear charges, capable of near instantaneous results.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Primacord | detonator".
  2. ^ "Dyno Nobel". Archived from the original on 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  3. ^ a b "Primacord Detonating Cord - product technical data sheet" (PDF). Ensign-Bickford Aerospace and Defense Company. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-03-22. Retrieved 2013-03-25.