Things not to do with guncotton: Make billiard balls

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Using guncotton for rocket experiments is fun and all, but what if you want to do something a bit more practical with it?

In late 19th century, the billiards industry realized that its use of ivory for manufacturing the balls needed to be changed to something more sustainable. One solution to this problem was found by the american engineer John Weasly Hyatt, who with his recently invented material camphored nitrocellulose was able to create satisfactory billiard balls.

Watch out young man...

Watch out…

The only problem? As all followers of the SCRAP blog know, nitrocellulose is another name for the flammable/explosive material guncotton, used by us to explode microparticles from the rocket.

So what happened when someone got a really god hard hit with the ball? Parts of it would explode! You think that someone would have seen this comming…

Later, the ‘recipe’ was improved, giving us the non-flammable billiard balls of today. Thanks for that!


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