Nitrocellulose LacquerEdit

From PyroGuideEdit

Nitrocellulose lacquer is a flammable liquid used primarily as a binder in fireworks compositions, and as a water-resistant coating for fuses. Gun cotton is one form of nitrocellulose (cellulose trinitrate) and is highly sensitive to impact. Ping-pong balls are made of nitrocellulose [pyroxylin] (cellulose dinitrate), specifically celluloid that consists of roughly 75% cellulose dinitrate and 25% camphor. Celluloid is much safer than gun cotton, but is still subject to detonation.


Ping-pong balls 6
Acetone To Preferred Thickness

Smokeless powder 1
Acetone To Preferred Thickness


Cut up six good quality ping-pong balls into small strips, place inside a glass jar and add 8 oz (236 ml) of acetone. Either let sit overnight or stir and shake for about half an hour to dissolve the strips into the solution. Acetone evaporates very quickly so you will need to put a lid on the glass jar. When fully dissolved the solution will have the consistency of thin paint. This will produce pyrotechnic grade nitrocellulose lacquer. If you use MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) as a solvent the lacquer will take longer to dry, the choice is up to you.

For smokeless powder lacquer, first moisten the powder with acetone and put a lid on. Let stay for an one hour, then add acetone little by little, until right consistency. Let stay for a day, then re-mix. Smokeless-lacquer is more flammable than ping-pong-lacquer.


Nitrocellulose lacquer on its own is mainly used as a binder in pyrotechnic compositions, however it can be converted into ignition prime by adding meal powder. Add enough to change the consistency to thick paint. Ignition prime can be used for electrical ignitors or as prime in fuse holes. As the acetone evaporates, the lacquer will form a skin and quickly solidify. More acetone can be added to the jar if the lacquer is drying out. It is important to note that this mix, while perfectly usable, does not perform as well as commercial grade nitrocellulose lacquer would. This is due to the fact that the dinitrate of cellulose is being used, as opposed to the trinitrate that is used in commercial-grade, and also due to the original impurities contained in the ping-pong balls.

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