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Nitrocellulose

Nitrocellulose is produced through a reaction of cellulose with nitrating acid (a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acid). It¡¯s widely used in paint, ink, leather product etc as a good film-forming additive.

Nitrocellulose grades are characterised by their
     Nitrogen content (High, Medium, Low)
     Viscosity (molar mass)
     Damping agent (Alcohol)

1) Nitrogen content

The nitrogen content indicate the degree of substitution indirectly. The degree of substitution determines the solubility of Nitrocellulose in organic solvents.

Theoretically, nitrocellulose with a nitrogen content above 12.6% is classed as an explosive. In actual practice, the nitrogen content cannot exceed around 13.6 to 13.8%. The nitrogen content of Nitrocellulose is between 10.7 and 12.2%.

Nitrocellulose grades are divided according to nitrogen content

Grade
Nitrogen content
Solubility
H
11.7-12.2%
Soluble in esters, ketones and glycol ethers. Blending capability with alcohol.
M
11.2-11.7%
Soluble in: esters, ketones and glycol ethers, with good blending capability and compatibility with alcohol.
L
10.7-11.2%
Soluble in: alcohols, esters,ketones and glycol ethers.

2) Viscosity

The viscosity of Nitrocellulose depends on the molecular weight of the nitrocellulose. A viscosity index is stated and the viscosity of the nitrocellulose in a specific solvent mixture is specified.The viscosity of the individual nitrocellulose grades is determined by Falling-ball method.


3) Phlegmatisers / Stabilisers

A further grading feature of Nitrocellulose is its damping agent content and the type of damping agent. Industrial nitrocellulose is required by law to contain at least 25% damping agent (e.g. alcohol).

The purpose of damping agents or plasticisers is to phlegmatise or stabilise the nitrocellulose in order to deactivate the hazardous properties of dry nitrocellulose (high flammability, high burning rates). Our nitrocellulose are damped with at least 30% alcohol.