Scanning Electron Microscope Examination of Cotton Linters and Wood Pulp Fibers before and after Nitration and Gun Propellant Manufacture
ARMY BALLISTIC RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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The prime ingredient in all operational military gun propellants is nitrocellulose NC. The properties of the NC are a function of the source of the cellulose, any processes used to prepare the cellulose for nitration, and the nitration process. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the morphology of several standard types of cellulose feedstocks from a variety of biological sources and preparative processes. The feedstocks examined were cotton linters, and sulfite or sulfate treated softwood and hardwood pulp fibers. Prior to nitration the cotton linters are well formed and intact with smooth surfaces. The wood pulp fibers are broken and crushed from the mechanical pulping processes with the surfaces of the fibers erroded and porous due to the purifying sulfitate or sulfate processes.
- Physical Chemistry
- Ammunition and Explosives