ASTM WK23817

    New Practice for Characterization of Smokeless Powder

    (What is a Work Item?)

    Developed by Subcommittee: E30.01 | Committee E30 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice describes procedures for characterizing and evaluating bulk quantities of single-base and double-base smokeless powders on post-blast debris or from bulk containers. Smokeless powder is characterized by shape, color, texture, manufacturing toolmarks, markers (taggants), dimensional measurements, and chemical composition. The analysis of triple-base smokeless powders is beyond the scope of this practice. 1.2 This practice is best suited for analyzing items comprised of visible grains (whole or partial) or bulk samples of smokeless powder and is not applicable to trace residues of materials. 1.3 This practice includes the type and number of measurements required and uncertainty of the measurements. 1.4 This practice will provide guidelines for the identification of the organic components of smokeless powders using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), GC with a flame ionization detection, electron capture detector or thermal energy analyzer, liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The analysis of inorganic components is beyond the scope of this practice. 1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only. 1.6 This practice involves handling of low explosives and potentially other energetic materials. It is strongly suggested that an analyst be trained in the storage and safe handling of energetic materials and be familiar with the properties and hazards of explosives. 1.7 This practice cannot replace knowledge, skill, or ability acquired through appropriate education, training, and experience and should be used in conjunction with sound professional judgment. 1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    smokeless powder; nitroglycerin; nitrocellulose; single-base; double-base

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Ronald Kelly

    Draft Under Development