Chemical Characterisation of Nitrocellulose

University essay from Örebro universitet/Institutionen för naturvetenskap och teknik

Abstract: Nitrocellulose is the main component in many types of ammunition, propellants and explosives. The principles of production for nitrocellulose have not changed much since the 19th century when it started being industrially produced for this purpose. The character of the nitrocellulose has a large effect on the end products abilities. The aim of this study was to develop a method that would be able to characterise and distinguish between nitrocellulose from different manufacturers to be able to relate the character of the nitrocellulose to the properties of ammunition, propellants and explosives. Samples were dissolved in acetone and analysed by GC/MS and data were then analysed by multivariable statistics. FTIR was also used to characterise the nitrocellulose. Results from both methods showed very small differences when chromatograms and spectra were analysed. This study shows that GC/MS and FTIR are not suitable for this type of characterisation. The differences between the data were not sufficient to be able to separate the samples from each other.

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