Analyses of New Nontoxic Stabilizers and Other
Components in Smokeless Powders


and Karel VENTURA

University of Pardubice, Faculty of Chemical Technology,
Department of Analytical Chemistry,
Studentská 573, CZ-532 10 Pardubice, Czech Republic


Explosia a.s. – Research Institute of Industrial Chemistry (VÚPCH),
CZ-530 50 Pardubice, Czech Republic

Abstract: Propellants consisting of nitrocellulose and/or other nitric esters are
inherently chemically unstable and undergo decomposition even under standard
storage conditions. Decomposition of such compounds can be inhibited or nearly
stopped when stabilizers are used. However, conventional stabilizers form
nitrosamines that have toxic and carcinogenic effects. A nitrocellulose based
propellants contained new nontoxic stabilizers were prepared on this account. The
new stabilizers are epoxidized oils (soybean oil, linseed oil and mixture fatty acids,
C14-22). The chemical structure of the new stabilizers and their decomposition
products should prevent the formation of toxic N-nitrosamines. We prepared double
base propellants and these powders were investigated using Microcalorimetry,
Conventional Stability Tests and Sensitivity Tests. The results were compared
with propellants containing the conventional stabilizer akardite II. Qualitative
and quantitative analyses were also performed. These analyses are very important
next to the Conventional Stability Tests and Sensitivity Tests. Therefore, this
paper presents qualitative and quantitative analyses results of the new substances
as stabilizers for propellants. We studied options of oils stabilizers determination
and mechanism of stabilization of propellants by oils. Paper describes quantitative
analyses results of other substances in propellants (nitroglycerin and solvents) too
and options of samples modifcation before analyses.

Keywords: smokeless powders, chemical stabilizers, gravimetry,
chromatography, infrared spectrometry