In our place the availability of nitrocellulose cotton is hard to get by. So i have seen some magic flash cotton in Amazon which is used by magician for flash during the trick and i have seen the base material is mentioned as Nitrocellulose.
Is that same as smokeless powder?. Can it be used for making NC laquer ?.
It should work fine for NC lacquer, dissolved in acetone (usually) or MEK. The problem with using commercial flash paper/flash cotton, which is decently nitrated NC, is the cost per gram. Most NC lacquer is used at a 5% w/w concentration. Flash paper/cotton is usually pretty lightweight stuff, so you might not get a whole lot of lacquer for your money, but it would likely make very good lacquer. Chop the pieces up as small as possible--it might be difficult to get into solution. Even low concentration NC lacquers (<10% NC) are very viscous.
Also, Behlen's/Mohawk clear NC guitar lacquer has a decent amount of reasonably-nitrated NC (as good or better than ping pong balls) already dissolved in solvent, and can be purchased from Amazon for about $25/quart (in the US). Unsure price in India or if they'll ship there (flammable). Works fine, but also not exactly inexpensive. There's other solids in it besides NC, too, but it works well for DEs etc. https://www.amazon.c...,aps,100&sr=8-1
Be very careful of your purchase if you go the ping-pong ball route--IF you get actual celluloid (primarily dinitrate vs trinitrate) PP balls, they work for lacquer, are already stabilized by the camphor used in their manufacture, and make reasonable but not particularly ideal NC lacquer. They should have a distinct smell (more noticeable if you pierce them with a knife), and burn cleanly with a vigorous orange flame and essentially no smoke/residue. Many, many people end up buying newer PP balls that are not NC/celluloid but instead another plastic that burns like crap.
Homemade NC is not for newbies. Though not challenging, it is usually not suitably neutralized, chemically stabilized (NC wants to lose its nitrogen groups), and is not safe for long-term storage. It will degrade rather rapidly, and probably variably from batch-to-batch. In PP balls, the celluloid is the stabilizer. In smokeless firearm cartridge NC, diphenamine is often the stabilizer. I'm unsure if magician's flash paper contains any stabilizers, but I'd expect it probably does. Without stabilizer, I would not trust my NC lacquer stability, or the stability of any comp bound with it. I simply would not use it and expect good results. Typically, homemade NC is fun for amusement purposes but does not store safely. Store it wet if you go that route. Unstabilized, it'll release nitric oxides which form what when dissolved in water/atmospheric humidity?
Another lesser known source of pure and well-nitrated flash paper is from a molecular laboratory supply house, as electrophoresis blotting/transfer paper for western blotting, though that is reagent grade and expensive. But it burns like the dickens. Is sold in sheets or rolls. There are many other polymers used for lab electrotransfer paper, so you need to verify it is indeed NC--not difficult to do. Expensive.
If you could get your hands on some shotgun shells, probably easier to acquire than pistol ammo in India, that is about the best source for high-nitration, stabilized NC. And shotshell powder needs to be fast-burning, so is usually formed in flat wafers/disks that dissolve much much quicker than hard extruded propellant from, for example, large rifle rounds that need a slow burn to generate max pressures down a long barrel.
Edited by SharkWhisperer, 06 April 2021 - 02:36 PM.