smokeless powder

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smokeless powder:

see explosiveexplosive,
substance that undergoes decomposition or combustion with great rapidity, evolving much heat and producing a large volume of gas. The reaction products fill a much greater volume than that occupied by the original material and exert an enormous pressure, which can be
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Smokeless Powder


a low explosive whose basic component is nitrocellulose, plasticized by one of several organic solvents. Smokeless powder is a hard, corniculate substance, similar to plastic; it is manufactured in the form of so-called powder elements—disks, tapes, grains, tubes, and so on. It is very durable and can burn steadily without blowing up under high pressure (tens or hundreds of meganewtons per sq m—that is, hundreds or thousands of kilogram-force per sq cm). The basic types of smokeless powder are ballistite, cordite, and pyroxylin powders; they differ mainly in the technology of production, in the solvents used, and in the kind of nitrocellulose. Smokeless powder is significantly superior to black powder in its burning stability and efficiency. It is used in all types of firearms, in rocket engines using solid fuel, and for other purposes. The first smokeless powder—pyroxylin powder—was invented in 1884 by the French engineer P. Vieille.

smokeless powder

[′smōk·ləs ′pau̇d·ər]
Nitrocellulose containing 13.1 percent nitrogen with small amounts of stabilizers (amines) and plasticizers usually present, as well as various modifying agents (nitrotoluene and nitroglycerin salts); used in ammunition.
References in periodicals archive ?
He also called for taggants in black and smokeless gunpowder, which has been used in some homemade bombs.
40 caliber handgun, ammunition, an Inspire article entitled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom" and bombmaking components -- including six bottles of smokeless gunpowder, shotgun shells, shotgun pellets, two clocks, two spools of auto wire, an electric drill and two pressure cookers, court documents said.
Father-of-three Matthew Starmore was found with smokeless gunpowder, ammunition rounds and bullet heads when police raided his house.
In the 1880s, arrived what are generically called smokeless gunpowders, by far the industry standard of the last century and a quarter.
On the plus side of the coin, smokeless gunpowders are very safe to handle, store and transport.