Aerosol grenades are devices formulated to release their contents in a vapor cloud. Often referred to as Area Treatment Weapons, they are used to fill a space with irritants or inflammatory agents to force people to leave the area.
Aerosol Grenades were specifically designed to be used against barricaded subjects in indoor situations where traditional tear gas grenades cannot be used because of their high potential for fires and contamination.
An aerosol grenade requires no fuse or explosive charge to disseminate the irritant. Since aerosol valves are normally designed to work only in an upright position it was necessary to develop a valve that would work horizontally. Other modifications to the valve were made internally to speed evacuation of the can to under thirty seconds eliminating potential throwback. Unlike FREEZE formula which utilizes heavy solvents to deliver the irritant in a coherent liquid stream directly to the face of the subject, aerosol grenades dispense an irritant cloud in a volatile solvent.
The grenades are available in two brands, CLEAROUT and PUNCH II.
Volatility is the rate at which a chemical evaporates and should not be confused with flammability. CLEAROUT formula utilizes highly volatile non-flammable solvents. The irritant is dispensed and the volatile solvent carrier evaporates and spreads the irritant quickly and effectively. CLEAROUT grenades weigh nine ounces with a concentration of one percent orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS) and one percent of two million SHU Oleoresin Capsicum (OC). This is generally referred to as enhanced CS since the addition of OC, a red pepper derivative, causes sneezing and coughing, forcing greater inhalation of the incapacitating CS.
At the one percent level, one CLEAROUT grenade delivers enough CS to reach incapacitating level established by military tests to an area of 23,000 cubic feet (1,700 cubic meters) with an equal amount of OC. Recent tests of OC alone have established its effectiveness though no incapacitating concentration has been determined.
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