ASTM WK35410

    New Test Method for Analysis of Smokeless Powder by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

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


    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method describes the analysis of organic components of single-base and double-base smokeless powders by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The analysis of triple-base smokeless powder is beyond the scope of this test method. 1.2 This test method is suited for analyzing samples comprised of visible grains (whole or partial) and bulk samples of smokeless powder. 1.3 Analysis of post-blast debris and items containing gunshot residue when visible grains of smokeless powder are not present is beyond the scope of this test method. 1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only. 1.5 This test method 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. 1.6 This test method cannot replace knowledge, skill, or ability acquired through appropriate education, training, and experience and should be used in conjunction with sound professional judgment. 1.7 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.

    This test method will be used by forensic laboratories conducting analysis of smokeless powders in bombing cases and firearms cases. No standard currently exists that addresses the analysis of smokeless powder except for a companion ASTM standard in progress.


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

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

    Citing ASTM Standards
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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Ronald Kelly


    E30 (16-04)

    Negative Votes Need Resolution