Volume 50, Issue 2 (March 2005)
A Comparison of Smokeless Powders and Mixtures by Capillary Zone Electrophoresis
The analysis of inorganic ions present in smokeless and muzzleloading powders has been performed using capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE). Previous publications have examined inorganic low explosives using CZE, but have not looked at the ion profiles from smokeless powders. In this report, seven commercially available smokeless powders were analyzed as unburned powder and burned residue. The results demonstrate that ionic profiles can be used to characterize smokeless powders. Our analysis also included a smokeless powder/ Pyrodexê combination to determine if smokeless powder ions are distinguishable in a mixture; however, the high concentration of ions present in Pyrodexê RS prevented its detection. In addition, five different smokeless powder samples as well as Pyrodexê RS were collected for analysis subsequent to deflagration in fifteen plastic pipe bombs. The relative ion concentrations between these powders can be used to illustrate the differences between open burning and pipe bomb deflagration.