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Abstract

Simultaneous thermogravimetry-differential thermal analysis-mass spectrometry have been used to characterize the zirconium/potassium perchlorate/nitrocellulose pyrotechnic system, by examining the components and their binary and ternary combinations under inert atmosphere conditions. Zirconium and potassium perchlorate were found to give an exothermic solid state reaction between 300°C and 500°C and the reaction was influenced significantly by the presence of small amounts of nitrocellulose. The decomposition of unreacted potassium perchlorate was observed to commence in the latter stages of the reaction and was found to be catalyzed by presence of the reaction products ZrO2 and KCl.