The characteristic in an explosive of brusqueness or shattering power. The more brisant an explosive, the more rapidly it detonates and the greater its relative power. In small arms, brisance is usually applied to priming compounds.
In addition to strength, explosives display a second characteristic, which is their shattering effect or brisance, which is distinguished from their total work capacity. This characteristic is of practical importance in determining the effectiveness of an explosion in fragmenting shells, bomb casings, grenades, and the like. The rapidity with which an explosive reaches its peak pressure is a measure of its brisance. This term is often misused to indicate a primer's ability to set-off the main charge in a metallic cartridge.