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Recent experimental work has demonstrated(I) that ammonia and oxides of nitrogen are formed during the aging of smokeless powder. This is significant in connection with the problem of “season cracking,” or stress corrosion of brass cartridge cases in view of other work(I) indicating that stressed and “stress-relieved ” cases stored with small quantities of added ammonium nitrate crack on firing. The deterioration of stressed brass by ammonia has been known for some time(2) and it appears therefore that stress-corrosion cracking of brass cartridge cases is intimately associated with the so-called “powder volatiles,” ammonia and oxides of nitrogen, both of which are decomposition products of smokeless powder. Working on the hypothesis that any barrier which prevents the powder volatiles from reaching the brass surface will reduce the incidence of stress-corrosion cracking, it was considered desirable to investigate the use of organic resin films to accomplish this purpose.
Chemist, Ordnance Laboratory, Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, Pa.