cellulose nitrate

noun
any of a group of nitric esters of cellulose, used in the manufacture of lacquers and explosives.


Origin:
1890–95

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Collins
World English Dictionary
cellulose nitrate
 
n
See also guncotton Also called (not in chemical usage): nitrocellulose a compound made by treating cellulose with nitric and sulphuric acids, used in plastics, lacquers, and explosives: a nitrogen-containing ester of cellulose

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cellulose nitrate n.
A pulpy or cottonlike polymer derived from cellulose treated with sulfuric and nitric acids and used in the manufacture of explosives and plastics. Also called nitrocellulose.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

cellulose nitrate

a mixture of nitric esters of cellulose, and a highly flammable compound that is the main ingredient of modern gunpowder. Nitrocellulose is a fluffy white substance that retains some of the fibrous structure of untreated cellulose. It is not stable to heat, and even carefully prepared samples will ignite on brief heating to more than about 150 C (300 F). When nitrocellulose decomposes, it forms products that catalyze further decomposition; this reaction, if not stopped in time, results in an explosion

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Ignites on contact with cellulose nitrate of sufficiently high surface area.
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