Abstract This paper assesses the effect of various values of detonation velocity on the quality of the bond zone, and thus the properties of bimetal zirconium (Zr 700) - steel (P355NL). The research was carried out for as-bonded welds, i.e. immediately following explosion welding. The results of shearing, peeling and tensile tests as well as macro-scale structural analyses were presented. In order to determine the changes in the value of strain hardening, the microhardness measurements across the interface were carried out. Based on the performed analyses it can be claimed that, depending on the applied technological settings of welding, most cases displayed wavy bond with highly diversified parameters of the wave. The changes observed with the detonation velocity are non-monotonic. High detonation velocities favored the formation of waves with large height and length and strongly affect the increase of the volume of brittle melted zones. Increased volume of the melted regions results in strong decrease of strength properties of the clad. The analysis of strength test results allows claiming that a small volume of melted regions in the bond considerably improves the strength of the bond.As a result of explosion welding, strain hardening of the joined materials occurs near the interface. In the case of clad fabricated using high technological parameters the increase of strengthening and the depth of its influence in the interface area is observed.