Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.75, No.2 (2014)

Research paper

Influence of water on the thermal stability of nitrocellulose
Katsumi Katoh, Tsutomu Soramoto, Eiko Higashi, Shuhei Kawaguchi, Kosuke Kumagae, Shunsuke Ito, Yuji Wada, Katsuyuki Nakano, and Mitsuru Arai


Thermal analysis of nitrocellulose (NC) containing water was carried out using an accelerating rate calorimeter (ARC) under the Heat-Wait-Search mode. The results were compared with those of our previous study conducted under isothermal conditions using a heat-flux calorimeter (C80). In the ARC results, the heat-release temperature (TARC) of NC with 2.0-2.5 wt% water was observed at 105℃, whereas that of dry NC was 150-155℃. In the case of NC with more than 5.0 wt% water, TARC stayed constant at approximately 130℃. The water amount of 2.0-2.5 wt%, at which the lowest TARC was observed, corresponded to the saturated vapor amount at 105℃. From this observation, it was concluded that NC was most destabilized when all the additive water vaporized and is saturated as vapor in the sample vessel. This tendency agrees well with the C80 results under isothermal conditions at 120℃. On the other hand, in the C80 results at 80℃ under isothermal conditions, NC was most destabilized when more water was added than the saturated vapor amount, unlike in the ARC results. The reason for this difference was assumed to be that at low temperatures (around 80℃ or less), the additive water did not vaporize completely, even when only the saturated vapor amount in the vessel was added to NC.

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nitrocellulose, mixing hazard, spontaneous ignition, accelerating rate calorimeter (ARC)

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