• WordNet 3.6
    • n guncotton a nitric acid ester; used in lacquers and explosives
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Guncotton See under Gun.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n guncotton A general name for the nitrates of cellulose, prepared by digesting cotton or other form of cellulose in nitric acid, or preferably in a mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids. A series of nitrates may thus be made, differing in composition and properties according to the strength of acids and time of digestion. Weak acids and short digestion yield trinitro- and tetranitro-cellulose, which dissolve in a mixture of alcohol and ether. This solution is the collodion of commerce. A highly explosive nitrate, to which the name guncotton more properly belongs, is made by digesting clean cotton in a mixture of 1 part nitric acid, specific gravity 1.5, and 3 parts sulphuric acid, specific gravity 1.85, for 24 hours and thoroughly washing the product. This is a hexanitrate of cellulose, C12H14 (NO3)6O10. It can hardly be distinguished by appearance from raw cotton, and is insoluble in alcohol and ether. When ignited it burns quietly, leaving no residue, but by percussion explodes violently, especially if compressed. Its explosive force is much greater than that of gunpowder. It has been used chiefly for torpedoes and submarine blasting, but is now largely superseded by dynamite.
    • ***


In literature:

So I conceived of an engine employing guncotton.
"Edison, His Life and Inventions" by Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin
With them they brought a ton and a half of guncotton.
"The San Francisco Calamity" by Various
The soldiers formed a square round the gun, charged it with guncotton, shouted 'Stand back!
"With Steyn and De Wet" by Philip Pienaar
Now guncotton looks like common cotton.
"Creative Chemistry" by Edwin E. Slosson
Some very good bombs were made from jam-tins with a wad of guncotton, and filled up with all manner of missiles.
""Over There" with the Australians" by R. Hugh Knyvett
It is made of guncotton and nitroglycerine and acetone is one of the chemicals required in its manufacture.
"Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights" by Kelly Miller
The following results may be cited, obtained by boiling a purified 'service' guncotton (sample C) with a 1 p.ct.
"Researches on Cellulose" by C. F. Cross
These are some of the physical reasons why guncotton might be regarded as a promising fog-signal.
"Fragments of science, V. 1-2" by John Tyndall
Blocks of buildings were blown up with powder, guncotton, and dynamite, or torn down by men armed with axes and ropes.
"Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror" by Richard Linthicum
Shell could not vanquish it, so a charge of guncotton was exploded immediately beneath it; then the old warship gave a lurch.
"The Hero of Garside School" by J. Harwood Panting
Guncotton invented by Christian Schoenbein, German chemist.
"The Scrap Book, Volume 1, No. 5" by Various
These are crumbling in places, and the Pioneers might destroy the bastion and breach the wall with a bag or two of guncotton.
"The Unveiling of Lhasa" by Edmund Candler
Guncotton and nitroglycerin are of this class.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 1" by Various
Guncotton is made by immersing cleaned and dried cotton waste in a mixture of strong nitric and sulphuric acids.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 12, Slice 6" by Various
The guncotton was hung against the plate and detonated.
"Defenseless America" by Hudson Maxim