LABORATORY STUDIES TO DEVELOP AN IMPROVED PROCESS FOR THE STABILIZATION OF GUNCOTTON
PICATINNY ARSENAL DOVER NJ FELTMAN RESEARCH LABS
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On the basis of the 100 C vacuum stability test, it is shown that 30 hours of boiling in the presence of a 0.05-0.2 N barium ion solution is at least equivalent to the 70-hour standard hydrolytic boil in distilled water for the stabilization of guncotton. Using radioactive barium 133 and sulfur-35 to trace barium ions and sulfate groups, respectively, a chemical relation ship between these two species is observed to exist in the boiling medium. The interpretation is offered from these experiments that the greater part of the total sulfate content in un stabilized guncotton is present as sulfuric acid and the remainder as sulfate half-ester. It is postulated that the action of barium ions or hard water cations in general in accelerating gun cotton stabilization involves a mechanism whereby the cations chemically combine with the sulfate impurities in such a manner that these impurities do not harm the fibers.
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