NC Nitrating

The photos on this page show the building and equipment where the cotton or cellulose and nitric acid where mixed to produce the NC used in the production of Smokeless, Rocket and Ball Powder Propellants.

Looking northwest at a NC Nitrating house under construction  in 1942. The tower structure in the foreground is the support for a water tank. The NC Nitrating buildings were built with a steel support structure and brick walls, all other buildings in the NC area were wood frame construction.

The photo looking northeast at a completed NC Nitrating House. The duct from the left carried the dried cotton or cellulose to the Nitrating floor (Dipping Floor) where it was mixed with the nitric acid. Looking at the near end of the building the top stair landing is the floor where all the motors to drive the equipment on the floors below were located. The next one down is the "Dipping Floor" where the cotton or cellulose and nitric acid were mixed. The bottom landing is the Wringer Floor where the excess acid was removed from the NC.

 

Photo of the Dipping Floor where cotton or wood pulp was mixed with nitric acid to produce the explosive "Nitrocellulose" (NC). To start the process the operator a loaded fixed amount of acid into the Dipping Pot, then loaded a specified amount, by weight, of cotton or wood pulp into a tub like that seen at the left edge of the photo and skidded it to the prepared Dipping Pot.

 

 

 

In this photo an operator is feeding cotton or wood pulp into the "Dipping Pot" containing nitric acid to produce Nitrocellulose.

 

These two photos show the Wringer operation that removes spent acid from the Nitrocellulose. The upper photo shows an operator with his hood down while he waits for the wringer to finish the wringing cycle. The hood hanging in front of the operator is part of the rubber apron he is wearing. The apron and hood provides complete protection from acid or NC that might fly out of the wringer when loading or unloading it.

The operator in the lower photo is removing the cake of NC from the inside of the wringer and dropping it through an opening in the bottom of the wringer to the floor below where the NC mixes with water to move to the next building where the purification process starts.