Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.79, No.2 (2018)

Research paper

Thermal decomposition behavior of nitrocellulose mixed with acid solutions
Katsumi Katoh, Satomi Fukui, Akiho Maeda, Tsutomu Soramoto, Hiroki Matsunaga, Eiko Higashi, and Shuhei Kawaguchi


In this investigation, the thermal decomposition behaviors of nitrocellulose (NC) and its mixtures with H2SO4, HNO3, or HCl solutions were observed under controlled ramp heating and isothermal conditions. The exothermic peak temperature (Tp) for NC/H2SO4, determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) under different heating conditions, was the lowest among the examined samples. The thermal behavior of NC/HNO3 was strongly influenced by the heating rate ; (Tp was similar to that of NC alone at the heating rates of 3-5℃·min-1, whereas it was lower than that of NC alone at heating rates lower than 1℃·min-1min-1. Furthermore, heat flux calorimetry analysis of the thermal behavior under isothermal conditions at 70℃ revealed that the induction period for the exothermic decomposition ((Tp) of NC/HNO3 was the shortest among the examined samples. Thus, not only H2SO4 but also HNO3 is thought to remarkably accelerate the thermal decomposition of NC. On the contrary, HCl did not show any reactivity toward NC, as Tp and Tp for NC/HCl were almost the same as those for NC alone, regardless of the heating rate. In addition, when the kinetic parameters for each sample were calculated using DSC data at different heating rates, a linear relationship between the activation energy and the logarithm of the frequency factor was established for NC/HNO3, NC/HCl, and NC alone, indicating that a compensation effect was established for these samples. In contrast, the data corresponding to NC/H2SO4 was not located on the same line. Thus, the decomposition mechanism of NC/H2SO4 is suggested to be different from that of the other samples.

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