What is the Difference Between Similar But Different Things, Terms, and Objects

What is the Difference between Ignition, Detonation, Combustion and Explosion

Fire is an essential tool of our society. It is used in different type of processes. It is helpful for humans as well as very dangerous also. There are different processes which release fire like ignition, combustion, detonation and explosion. Let’s have a look on difference between them.


Ignition means to burn. Fire is an essential tool in human society. Many techniques are used to make fire which is also called fire making or firecraft etc. ignition by friction is a basic and old technique to make fire.


Combustion is a chemical process in which heat is produced and used in some chemical process. Combustion is done by reaction between a fuel and an oxidant. The resulting heat can produce flame.


Detonation is a type of explosion occurs in solid, liquids and gases. It produces a supersonic shock wave which propagate in front of it. The detonation velocity in solid and liquid explosion is greater then gases.


If volume is increased rapidly and energy releases in an extreme manner due to generation of high temperature, than explosion will occur. It produces a shock wave.

Ignition vs Combustion vs Detonation vs Explosion

The difference between ignition and combustion is, ignition is a simple process to make fire. It is may be generated by friction between two objects or by other natural resource. While combustion is a chemical process, which is carried out to produce heat and chemical species. In combustion process an oxidant reacts with a fuel to produce heat. The difference between detonation and explosion is, detonation is a type of explosion, which produces a supersonic shock wave in front of it. While explosion also generates shock wave but is a low intensity shock wave then detonation. Both are produced due to rapid increase in volume and release of energy.

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