Molecular Dimensions of Celluloid


THE results of the experiments carried out by the Bureau of Standards, Washington (NATURE, December 13, p. 861), are of very great interest, but would be still more valuable if the exact composition of the “celluloid” were known. There is often confusion in referring to such words as “celluloid,” “celloidin,” “collodion” and the like. Celluloid, the basis of photographic film, is certainly a manufactured mixture of variable composition, containing among other ingredients a considerable percentage of camphor, the main ingredient being, of course, a soluble cellulose trinitrate, though cellulose acetate is now being increasingly used on account of its noninflammability. It is, therefore, scarcely correct to speak of the “molecular complex of celluloid” (unless “complex” is intended to cover a mixture of two or more compounds). “Celloidin” is the trade name of a carefully purified and soluble cellulose nitrate, probably approaching to a single chemical substance. Collodion is, of course, a solution of nitro cellulose in acetone, ether-alcohol, or some other organic solvent.

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GARNETT, H. Molecular Dimensions of Celluloid. Nature 115, 51 (1925) doi:10.1038/115051d0

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