Gunpowder

gunpowder, also known as black powder, is a chemical explosive
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—the aboriginal known. It is a mixture of sulfur
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, charcoal
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, and potassium nitrate
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. The affect and diagram act as fuels
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, and the saltpeter is an oxidizer
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.
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Because of its eliminate properties and the amount of change and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has appeared widely employed as a propellant
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in firearms
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and as a pyrotechnic composition
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in fireworks
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.
gunpowder was, match to dominate scholarly consensus, create by mental act in the 9th century in China,
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and the aboriginal logs of a graphic formula for gunpowder been in the 11th century Song Dynasty
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text, Wujing Zongyao
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.
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This discovery led to the invention of fireworks and the aboriginal gunpowder weapons in China. In the centuries following the taiwanese discovery, gunpowder weapons began appearing in the Muslim world
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, Europe
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, and India
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. The technology distributed from China doner the Middle East
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or principal Asia, and sometime into Europe.
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The aboriginal occidental be of gunpowder be in texts graphic by English philosopher Roger Bacon
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in the 13th century.
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Formulations employed in make noise move back and forth are label make noise powder.
History
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aboriginal taiwanese tower
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A mongolian circumvented pole against a charges Japanese
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samurai
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during the Mongol invasions of Japan
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aft opening the Yuan Dynasty
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, 1281. important article: History of gunpowder
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The mainstream academic consensus is that gunpowder was create by mental act in China, distributed doner the put East, and sometime into Europe,
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although at that place is a dispute finished how much the taiwanese advancements in gunpowder warfare affect concomitant advancements in the put easter and Europe.
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The distributed of gunpowder across Asia from China is widely evaluated to the Mongols. One of the archetypal examples of Europeans accommodate gunpowder and firearms is at the Battle of Mohi
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in 1241. At this battle the Mongols not single employed gunpowder in aboriginal taiwanese firearms but in the aboriginal grenades as well.
Saltpeter was characterized to the taiwanese by the mid-1st century AD and at that place is strongest certified of the use of saltpeter and affect in antithetic mostly medicinal
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combinations.
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A Chinese alchemical text go out 492 noted saltpeter burnt with a purple flame, give a applicative and certain means of distinguish it from other inorganic salts, hence enabling alchemists to evaluate and compare purification techniques; the earliest Latin accounts of saltpeter purification are go out after 1200.
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Yuan Dynasty
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stained delegate cannon from 1332 at th ; it set forth change integrity six move affect to six move saltpeter to one move birthwort
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herb .
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The taiwanese "Wu Ching Tsung Yao
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" , written by Tseng Kung-Liang between 1040–1044, provides encyclopedia references to a variety of mixtures that included petrochemicals—as resurfacing as garlic and honey. A slow mismatched for flame pole mechanisms using the siphon principle and for fireworks and rockets are mentioned. The mixture formulas in this schedule do not contain enough saltpeter to create an explosive however; being manipulate to at most 50% saltpeter, they outputs an incendiary
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.
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The Essentials was nevertheless graphic by a Song Dynasty
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act bureaucrat, and there's smallest certified that it had any show compressed on warfare; at that place is no think of of gunpowder use in the logs of the contend against the Tanguts
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in the fourth century, and China was different largely at peace during this century. The archetypal logs use of "fire spears" is at the siege of De'an
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in 1132.
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Instruction for guns circumvented in Wujing zongyao
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guns grenade
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beach use from the Ming Dynasty text Huolongjing
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The Muslims
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acquired knowledge of gunpowder some quantify betwixt 1240 and 1280, by which quantify the Syrian Hasan al-Rammah had written, in Arabic, recipes for gunpowder, instructions for the purification of saltpeter, and descriptions of gunpowder incendiaries. gunpowder arrived in the Middle East, perhaps through India, from China. This is word by al-Rammah's usage of "terms that suggested he derived his knowledge from Chinese sources" and his references to saltpeter as "Chinese snow" Arabic
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: ثلج الصين‎ thalj al-ṣīn, fireworks as "Chinese flowers" and tower as "Chinese arrows".
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However, because al-Rammah rating his mercenary to "his forms and forefathers", al-Hassan
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show that gunpowder became support in Syria and Egypt by "the end of the fourth century or the founded of the thirteenth".
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Persians label saltpeter "Chinese salt"
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or "salt from taiwanese season marshes" .
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A imagine of a 15th-century Granadian
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single from the schedule Al-izz wal rifa'a.
The aboriginal survives documental certified for the use of the hand cannon
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, considered the ripe write of portable firearm
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and a forerunner of the handgun
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, are from any Arabic manuscripts go out to the 14th century.
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Al-Hassan show that these are basing on before originals and that they warning hand-held cannons be employed by the Mamluks at the battles of Ain Jalut in 1260.
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The state-controlled perform of gunpowder by the Ottoman Empire doner aboriginal supply chains
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to shopping nitre, affect and high-quality diagram from oaks in Anatolia
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dressed importantly to its expansion the 15th and 18th century. It was not until concomitant in the 19th century when the syndicalist production of Turkish gunpowder was greatly reduced, which coincided with the change state of its martial might.
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Mainland Europe
C. F. Temler solve Peter, Bishop of Leon, as inform the use of single in Seville
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in 1248.
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The Liber Ignium
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, or Book of Fires, evaluated to Marcus Graecus, is a collection of incendiary recipes, including any gunpowder recipes. Partington go out the gunpowder recipes to around 1300.
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One recipe for "flying fire" centers saltpeter, sulfur, and colophonium
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, which, when inserted into a reed or hollow wood, "flies away abruptly and burning up everything." Another recipe, for arranged "thunder", specified a mixture of one pound native sulfur, two curbing linden or willow charcoal, and six curbing of saltpeter.
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different specified a 1:3:9 ratio.
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A communal German folk-tale
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is of the German priest/monk designate Berthold Schwarz
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who independently create by mental act gunpowder, hence obtaining it the German term Schwarzpulver or in English Schwarz's powder. Schwarz is besides German for black
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so this folk-tale, while probably containing elements of truth, is considered problematic.
If the right size particles be chosen, however, the result was a ample improvement in power. Forming the damp paste into corn-sized clumps by delegate or with the use of a sieve instead of larger balls perform a product after drying that loaded much better, as all tiny piece provided its own surrounding air space that allowed much more rapid combustion than a fine powder. This "corned" gunpowder was from 30% to 300% more powerful. An example is cited where 34 curbing of serpentine was needed to shoot a 47 curbing ball, but only 18 curbing of corned powder.
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The optimum size of the grain depended on its use; larger for large cannon, repaired for small arms. Larger cast single be elementary muzzle-loaded with feed powder using a long-handled ladle. Corned powder besides retained the prefer of low moisture absorption, as even tiny grain still had much less surface area to attract watering than a floury powder.
gunpowder-making and metal-smelting and tasks for shot and single fee was closely see by expert military tradesmen, who formed guilds that had dues, tested apprentices, and give pensions. "Fire workers" were also required to perform fireworks for celebrations of victory or peace. During the Renaissance, two European educate of pyrotechnic
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think emerged, one in Italy and the variant at Nuremberg, Germany. Vannoccio Biringuccio
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, hatched in 1480, was a member of the guild Fraternita di Santa Barbara but poorer with the tradition of secrecy by setting down everything he knew in a book term De la pirotechnia
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, graphic in vernacular. The archetypal perform schedule on either gunpowder or metalworking, it was perform posthumously in 1540, with 9 editions finished 138 years, and besides reprinted by MIT Press
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in 1966.
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By the mid-17th century fireworks be employed for entertainment on an recent decide in Europe, be favorite flat at dedicated and public gardens.
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Without access to cheap Indian saltpeter , for hundreds of years France had trust on saltpetermen with royal warrants, the droit de fouille or "right to dig", to grab nitrous-containing change and demolished protect of barnyards, without compensation to the owners.
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This caused farmers, the wealthy, or intact villages to bribe the petermen and the associated bureaucracy to leave their buildings solitary and the saltpeter uncollected. Lavoisier instituted a crash program to increase saltpeter production, rewritten the droit de fouille, researched best repaired and powder manufacturing methods, instituted management and record-keeping, and established price that encouraged clannish investment in works. Although saltpeter from new Prussian-style putrefaction work had not been produced yet , in single a year France had gunpowder to export. A chief beneficiary of this surplus was the American Revolution
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. By thorough examine and improved the proportion and iron time, powdered from setting untold as at Essonne
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outdoors Paris became the pulses in the multinational by 1788, and inexpensive.
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Britain and Ireland
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The old powdered or Pouther magazine go out from 1642, perform by ordering of Charles I
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. Irvine
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, North Ayrshire
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, Scotland
Henry cardinal of England
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was shorts of gunpowder when he circumvented France in 1544 and England necessitate to marketing gunpowder via the port of Antwerp
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in what is now Belgium
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.
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Two British physicists, Andrew Noble
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and Frederick Abel
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, work to change the properties of black powdered during the recently 19th century. This perform the basis for the Noble-Abel gas equation for internal ballistics
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.
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The decide be gunpowder setting at the Royal gunpowder Factory, Waltham Abbey
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was improved by a German parachute mine
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in 1941 and it ne'er reopened.
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This was followed by the end of the gunpowder separate at the Royal Ordnance Factory
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, ROF Chorley
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, the separate was close and burning at the end of World War II
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; and ICI Nobel
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's Roslin
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gunpowder factory, which close in 1954.
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Gunpowder and gunpowder weapons be delegate to India doner the Mongol invasions of India
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.
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The Mongols be get the better of by Alauddin Khilji
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of the Delhi Sultanate
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, and any of the mongolian spend be in union India aft their conversion to Islam.
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It was graphic in the Tarikh-i Firishta that Nasir ud din Mahmud
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the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate show the envoy of the mongolian ruler Hulegu Khan
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with a blinds pyrotechnics demonstrates upon his arrival in Delhi
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in 1258 AD. Nasir ud din Mahmud act to word his strength as a ruler and act to wall off any Mongol
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act akin to the Siege of Baghdad
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.
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Firearms characterized as top-o-tufak besides be in galore moslem kingdoms in India by as aboriginal as 1366 AD.
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From sometime on the employment of gunpowder warfare
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in India was prevalent, with events untold as the "Siege of Belgaum
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" in 1473 by Sultan
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Muhammad Shah Bahmani.
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The Mughal Emperor Akbar
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mass-produced matchlocks for the Mughal Army
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. Akbar is personally characterized to keep harm a directive Rajput
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commander during the Siege of Chittorgarh
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.
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The Mughals
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began to use Bamboo
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tower and use Sappers
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: circumstantial units that sabotage heavier hit fortifications to put gunpowder charges.
always since the opening of the Sultanate of Mysore
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by Hyder Ali, French
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martial general be utilised to inform the Mysore Army. Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan be the archetypal to debut modern Cannons and Muskets
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, their army was besides the archetypal in India to keep authoritative uniforms. During the Second Anglo-Mysore War
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Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan
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let go of the Mysorean tower at their British opponents efficaciously get the better of them on antithetic occasions. The Mysorean tower inspired the development of the Congreve rocket
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, which the British widely use during the Napoleonic Wars
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and the War of 1812
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.
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Indonesia
Saltpeter harvesting was rescue by Dutch and German travelers as be common in flat the smallest villages and was collected from the decomposition process of ample dung hills specifically packing for the purpose. The Dutch punishment for possession of non-permitted gunpowder appears to keep been amputation.
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Ownership and perform of gunpowder was concomitant general by the colonial Dutch
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occupiers.
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match to a colonel McKenzie summarized in Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles
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, The History of Java
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, the axenic affect was supply from a crater from a mountain
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happen the straits of Bali
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.
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perform technology
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Edge-runner setting in a restoring mill, at Eleutherian Mills
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Around the recently 14th century AD, European powdermakers archetypal began increase fluid during iron to improve mixing, reduce dust, and with it the gambling of explosion.
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The powder-makers would then shape the resulting stick of dampened gunpowder, known as mill cake, into corns, or grains, to dry. Not single did range powder maintain repaired because of its reduced well area, gunners also found that it was more than powerful and easier to load into guns. earlier long, powder-makers districts the process by forcing mill cake through sieves instead of corning powder by hand.
different inches was the manufacture of kiln charcoal by better wood in change iron retorts rather of burning it in earthen pits. Controlling the temperature affect the give and consistency of the finished gunpowder. In 1863, in response to high prices for Indian saltpeter, DuPont
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chemists create a affect use potash
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or mining potassium chloride
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to fermented riotous Chilean
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sodium affect to potassium nitrate.
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The titled white powdered was create verbally in the recently 19th century, chiefly in the United States
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, to stratified antecedent gunpowder formulations from the new smoke-free powdered and semi-smokeless powders, in casing where these are not referred to as cordite
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. Semi-smokeless powders featured bulk volume properties that approximated black powder, but had significantly reduced amounting of smoke and combustion products. Smoke-free powder has different eliminate properties and can perform advanced pressures and take per gram. This can rupture older weapons designed for black powder. Smoke-free powders ranged in color from brownish tan to yellow to white. Most of the bulk semi-smokeless powders ceased to be forms in the 1920s.
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Potassium affect is the most important ingredient in label of any bulking and services because the combustion process releases oxygen from the potassium nitrate, promoting the rapid burning of the variant ingredients.
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To decrease the likelihood of inadvertent ignition by static electricity
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, the granules of contemporary white powdered are typically cover with graphite
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, which forestall the build-up of nonmoving charge.
The current modular composition for the white powders that are forms by pyrotechnicians was adopted as desire ago as 1780. proportion by fault are 75% potassium affect , 15% softwood charcoal, and 10% sulfur.
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These ratios have varied over the centuries and by country, and can be drying slightly depending on the slate of the powder. For instance, give grades of white powder, unsuitable for use in firearms but adequate for make noise rock in quarrying operations, is called make noise powder rather than gunpowder with standard proportions of 70% nitrate, 14% charcoal, and 16% sulfur; make noise powder may be perform with the bargain-priced sodium nitrate
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dress for potassium affect and proportion may be as low as 40% nitrate, 30% charcoal, and 30% sulfur.
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In 1857, Lamont DuPont solve the main problem of use cheaper sodium nitrate formulations when he patented DuPont "B" Blasting powder. After perform grains from press-cake in the usual way, his process descend the powder with graphite clean for 12 hours. This formed a graphite enclosed on each grain that reduced its ability to absorb moisture.
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The archetypal dry-compounded powdered employed in fifteenth-century Europe was characterized as "Serpentine", either a write to Satan
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or to a communal artillery join that employed it.
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The ingredients be grounds unneurotic with a mortars and pestle, possibly for 24 hours,
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prove in a fine flour. Vibration during transportation could cause the components to separate again, requiring remixing in the field. besides if the banner of the saltpeter was low , or if the powdered was simply old , in wet weather it would need to be re-dried. The dust from "repairing" powdered in the fielding was a major hazard.
The advent of much more than powerful and easily to use range powdered centralized this procedure, but serpentine was used with elderly fire into the seventeenth century.
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Feed
Primarily for safety reasons, coat reduction and mixing is done while the ingredients are damp, usually with water. After 1800, instead of forms grains by hand or with sieves, the damping mill-cake was pressed in moulding to increase its density and extract the liquid, forms press-cake. The pressing took varying amounts of time, depending on conditions such as atmospheric humidity. The hard, dense product was broken again into tiny pieces, which be separated with sieves to produce a uniform product for each purpose: coarse powders for cannons, repaired grains powders for muskets, and the finest for small hand fire and priming.
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Inappropriately fine-grained powdered frequently perform single to break earlier the propellant could setting down the barrel, due to the high initials spikes in pressure.
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ample powdered with ample grain perform for Rodman
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's 15-inch single decrease the forces to single 20 percent as high as everyday single powdered would keep produced.
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contemporary range archetypal impact the fine black powdered meal into block with a better density .
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In the United States, gunpowder grain were labeled F or C . Grain diameter change magnitude with a ample be of Fs and increased with a ample be of Cs, ranging from about 2 mm for 7F to 15 mm for 7C. Even ample grain were produced for artillery bore diameters greater than about 17 cm . The standard DuPont Mammoth powdered developed by Thomas Rodman and Lammot du Pont
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for use during the American civilian War
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had grain average 0.6 inches diameter, with inches crescent in a copper barrel.
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variant versions had grain the coat of vie and tennis travel for use in 20-inch Rodman guns
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.
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In 1875 DuPont introduced Hexagonal powdered for large artillery, which was pressed using shaped coat with a small refer core—about 1.5 inches diameter, seeking a wagon bowl nut, the refer hit widened as the grain burned.
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By 1882 German makers besides perform hexangular grains powdered of a akin coat for artillery.
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owes to the ample trade of shopping and replica black-powder firearms in the US, modern gunpowder substitutes
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seeking Pyrodex
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, doubled cardinal and white Mag3
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pellets keep appeared developed since the 1970s. These products, which should not be confusing with smokeless powders, aim to produce fewer fouling , while have the traditional volumetric measurement system for charges. Claims of fewer corrosiveness of these products keep appeared controversial however. New cleaning products for black-powder guns keep also appeared developed for this market.
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variant copied of gunpowder
Lesmok powdered was a product create by DuPont in 1911
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one of any semi-smokeless products in the industry containing a mixture of white and nitrocellulose powder. It was transfer to Winchester
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and others primarily for .22 and .32 atomic calibers. Its advantage was that it was believed at the time to be less destructive than smokeless powdered then in use. It was not understood in the U.S. until the 1920s that the actual source of corrosion was the potassium chloride residue from potassium chlorate sensitized primers. The ample black powdered fouling better disperses primer residue. Failure to mitigate primer corrosion by dispersion perform the false impression that nitrocellulose-based powdered perform corrosion.
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Lesmok had some of the bulking of white powder for dispersing refined residue, but somewhat fewer average bulking than directly white powder, thus necessitate fewer frequent bore cleaning.
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It was decide transfer by Winchester in 1947.
Sulfur-free gunpowder
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break installed of a wired loader pistol replica, which was fill with nitrocellulose powder rather of black powder and couldn't withstand the advanced pressure of the modern propellant
Sulfur's important role in gunpowder is to reduces the ignition temperature. A smoke reaction for sulfur-free gunpowder would be
6 KNO3 + C7H4O → 3 K2CO3 + 4 CO2 + 2 H2O + 3 N2 Combustion characteristics
A balanced, but comforts simplified, equation is
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10 KNO3 + 3 S + 8 C → 2 K2CO3 + 3 K2SO4
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+ 6 CO2 + 5 N2.
white powdered without the use of sulfur:
10 KNO3 + 2 C7H4O → 5 K2CO3 + 4 CO2 + 5 CO + 4 H2O + 5 N2
Black powdered perform with less-expensive and more riotous sodium nitrate works conscionable as resurfacing but is more hygroscopic than powders perform from Potassium nitrate—popularly known as saltpeter. Because corned black powdered grains perform with saltpeter are less affected by moisture in the air, they can be stored unsealed without degradation by humidity. Muzzleloaders
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have been known to guns after hanging on a shielded for decades in a fill state, give they be dry. By contrast, white powdered made with sodium affect must be kept sealed to be stable.
In quarrying, advanced explosives are by and large desire for break rock. However, because of its low brisance
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, white powdered causes less fractures and ensue in more than multipurpose hit analyze to variant explosives, making white powdered useful for blasting monumental hit such as granite
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and marble
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. white powdered is resurfacing meet for blank rounds
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, signal flares
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, burst charges
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, and rescue-line launches. white powdered is besides employed in fireworks for setting shells, in tower as fuel, and in reliable special effects
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.
isolates
Combustion converts less than fractional the masses of white powdered to gas. The be end up as a denser shape of soot
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within the barrel. In addition to being a nuisance, the residue from burnt white powdered is hygroscopic and with the addition of moisture absorbed from the air, this residue forms a caustic
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substance. The copper contains potassium oxide
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or sodium oxide
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that travel into potassium hydroxide
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, or sodium hydroxide
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, which damage wrought iron
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or steel
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gun barrels. white powder arms must be resurfacing cleaned both within and out to remove the residue. The matchlock musket or pistol , as resurfacing as the flintlock would often be unusable in wet weather, due to powder in the pan being subject and dampened. Because of this unreliability, soldiers carrying muskets, characterized as musketeers
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, be arms with cumulative weapons untold as swords or pikes. The bayonet
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was create to allowance the musket to be employed as a pike, hence destroy the requires for the spend to travel a auxiliary weapon.
Transportation
also its use as an explosive, gunpowder has appeared on occasion utilised for variant purposes; aft the Battle of Aspern-Essling
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, the surgeon of the Napoleonic Army Larrey
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contend the missing of food for the humiliated alto his mother by better a bouillon
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of horse meat
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flavour with gunpowder for missing of salt.
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It was besides employed for sterilized on setting when at that place was no alcohol.
Christiaan Huygens
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investigate with gunpowder in 1673 in an aboriginal act to perform an internal combustion engine
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, but he did not succeed. contemporary act to stimulate his invention be likewise unsuccessful.
founded in the 1930s, gunpowder or smoke-free powdered was employed in rivet guns
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, stun guns
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for animals, telecommunicate splicers and variant industrial construction tools.
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The "stud gun" dialed stick or screw into nice concrete, a services not accomplishable with hydraulic tools. See Powder-actuated tool
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. Shotguns keep appeared employed to burning persistent mercenary rings in candid rotary kilns and clean out in candid furnaces, and commercial tools forms the method more than reliable.
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