The Brazilian Cartridge Company (CBC) has become the first company in the sector to receive a Green Patent from the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), after developing an innovative project that uses natural components in formulations that can be applied to single-base smokeless propellant powders.
The project innovates by using natural products (biostabilizers) in the form of essential oils, in substitution of already known synthetic products, with the advantage of being free of compounds that are harmful to human health and less polluting to the environment.
The new composition, which comprises, among other substances, nitrate esters, limonene and additives, has unique advantages that maintain the energy potential, low smoke emission and practically no generation of solid residues.
Common nitrocellulose-based propellants (a compound in short supply around the world today) are unstable during aging because they undergo a slow and intrinsic chemical decomposition, even at room temperature, forming nitro groups. Stabilizers prevent this degradation, increasing the useful life of the propellants. Green stabilizers are energy-efficient substances like traditional stabilizers with derivatives that have less or no toxicity.
The research initiative emerged during the Integration Day with Companies in the Defense Segment, held by the Military Institute of Engineering (IME) in 2015. The meeting marked the approach and partnership of CBC, and other companies in the sector, with the Institute for the conduction of strategic projects of mutual interest, through the Triple Helix, a laboratory in which universities/research centers, industry and government develop pioneering projects, generating new knowledge in favor of the needs of the Brazilian Army, the segment and humanity.
At the time, a demand was identified for a gunpowder that would comply with the REACH regulation, which controls chemicals manufactured in and imported into European Union member states, with the aim of ensuring a high level of protection to human health and the environment, in which CBC has manufacturing know-how.
Since then, the company, in partnership with the IME, started to develop this work of creating an innovative green gunpowder. During the research process a pilot lot of gunpowder was produced using green stabilizers, with tests and analysis of the chemical and physical properties, as well as stability tests, conducted in the propellant laboratory, at CBC’s gunpowder factory in Ribeirão Pires (SP), which showed satisfactory results in terms of effectiveness, without altering the performance of the gunpowder.
Scientific papers on the research have also been published in specialized international journals, such as the Journal of Energetic Materials, and presentation at the X Technical Meeting of Materials and Chemistry, held in Rio de Janeiro in November 2019.
“This is a pioneering project in the world, of a gunpowder with sustainable compounds. The conquest of the Green Patent is the first step towards a future large-scale production, homologation and commercialization in the national and international market. CBC continues investing heavily in research, development and technology, promoting a new era of innovative products”, emphasizes Rogério Rosato, General Manager of CBC Chemical Plant.
“The Brazilian Cartridge Company once again demonstrates its capacity for innovation and market leadership by developing this research together with the Military Institute of Engineering and winning the first Green Patent. This is the result of CBC’s experience and worldwide recognition in the development of high performance products and the strong investment in research and innovation. CBC products are known worldwide for being submitted to exhaustive tests during development, covering ballistic performance and compliance with international standards, in addition to having certificates of qualification recognition from the most renowned world bodies”, says Paulo Ricardo Gomes, Commercial & Marketing Director of CBC.
The CBC Gunpowder factory is one of the most modern in the world. For over 35 years, the company has developed and improved techniques of production and control of propellants, resulting in high quality products that meet the most stringent international specifications for quality and performance.
The manufacturing process of CBC powders by continuous extrusion is pioneer in the world, with equipment and processes designed to meet the production of single base powders that meet the most demanding ballistic performances.
The manufacturing of nitrocellulose single-base gunpowders is performed by CBC, at the Ribeirão Pires plant (SP), since 1985.
*** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***