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Author: Subject: Dissolving smokeless powder?
JC
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[*] posted on 15-8-2004 at 01:56
Dissolving smokeless powder?


I'm wondering if there is a solvent for modern smokeless powders, such as Bullseye or N150?

I did a quick search, but neither here nor Google was enlightening.

I realise that a major problem is that the cellulose is a long-chain carbon-carbon, and that this makes it far more difficult to find a solvent.

My intention is to then turn it into a small solid block, in a similar form to the ignition wires that you get with Estes model rockets. It doesn't need to explode, but it should burn very hard without oxygen, as an ignitor.

Any ideas?




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JohnWW
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[*] posted on 15-8-2004 at 03:46


What sorts of (common) solvents dissolve cellulose and its derivatives? Acid anhydrides like acetic anhydride, aided by a small amount of H2SO4, dissolve it with the formation of carboxylic acid esters.

But to dissolve the cellulose derivative you have without chemical alteration, just off the top of my head, I would think acetone would probably do it. Failing that, try other polar non-ionizing solvents (ketones, ethers, esters, aldehydes) like diethyl ether, diisopropyl ether, oxetane, dioxane, methyl isobutyl ketone, furfural, furan, pyran, benzaldehyde, amyl acetate, etc.

John W.
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[*] posted on 15-8-2004 at 03:55


Thanks, I'll have a shot later, and report back.



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ordenblitz
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[*] posted on 15-8-2004 at 11:31


I make nitrocellulose lacquer from smokeless powder for use as a binder in pyrotechnics. The most commonly used solvent for the purpose is acetone. If you want a slightly less volatile solvent use a mix of acetone and butyl acetate or amyl acetate. I prefer the smell of butyl to amyl but use what you prefer. MEK also works well but I don’t use it that often.
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[*] posted on 16-8-2004 at 19:01
smokeless solvent


I've dissolved a number of powders using acetone. Red Dot, IMR 4224, 3031, Unique, and a couple other powders which I don't recollect were tried. All dissolved fine. It seems to require an overnight soak to become nicely liquid.
Evaporating in the atmosphere to the point of being truly dry took days. I reckon the humidity has something to do with that. Low-temp oven drying might be a plus.
The resulting piece of material, which in this case was Red Dot, proceeded to burn at a rapid clip upon application of flame.
A piece which had only dried for a day was tried. It burned slow enough to almost be a disappointment. Real dry was far better.
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