DEHY Press

World War II photo, from the northeast, of a DEHY Press building taken as part of a 1945 Facility Inventory. This building was the start of the Green Powder Process where the Smokeless Propellant grains were produced. Nitrocotton/Nitrocellulose (NC) from the NC Final Wringer House entered the building at the back, went through the DEHY Press Process and the resulting blocks of NC where brought out on this side in buggies called Coffin Buggies. From this building the blocks of NC where taken to one of two Mix Houses for the next stage of the process.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking into a press bay from the front door on the East Side of the building. Each building has six bays and each bay has two presses. A measured (weight) quantity of Nitrocotton or Nitrocellulose (NC) was loaded into these presses to remove the water by injecting alcohol (a dehydrating agent) into the NC and pressing it into a block under high pressure forcing the alcohol and water out. At the end of the process the press would eject the block of NC, which the operator would weigh and load into a "Coffin Buggy" for transfer to the next process building.

 

 

 



 

 

 

When the B.O.W. was built in 1942 - 1945 automation as we know it today was non-existent. In the DEHY process when it was time to inject the alcohol the operator stopped the press and manually opened a valve to inject the alcohol using this flow meter to determine when to close the valve. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By 1997 when the Plant was declared excess, this process had been equipped with a pneumatic automation system. The green box at the right of the press has two buttons at the bottom. One red one with the red background was an emergency stop button. Below it is a second button to start the process. When the operator had the press loaded with NC he or she pressed the start button to start the press cycle. When the cycle reached the point to inject the alcohol the press stopped and the yellow and gray cylinders in the background injected a predetermined amount of alcohol into the press. The pressing cycle then continued to the end when the block of NC was raised to the opening in the press and the press cycle stopped automatically so the operator could remove the block and prepare for the next batch. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffin Buggy, so named because it resembles a coffin on wheels. These buggies were used to transport blocks of NC from the DEHY Press House to the Mixer-Macerator House where the NC was mixed with a solvent to make it pliable for extruding.