pounding of powders for blasting and for other special purposes. In this country blasting powder is generally made from sodium nitrate.
John Bate early in the seventeenth century understood the individual functions of the three components of black powder when he wrote: "The Saltpeter is the Soule, the Sulphur the Life, and the Coales the Body of it." The saltpeter supplies the oxygen for the combustion of the charcoal, but the sulfur is the life, for this inflammable element catches the first fire, communicates it throughout the mass, makes the powder quick, and gives it vivacity.
Hard, compressed grains of black powder are not porous—the sulfur appears to have colloidal properties and to fill completely
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