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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
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Partnership Profile - Gum Arabic

The Department of Defense (DoD)

The Department of Defense (DoD) is using FPL's expertise in carbohydrate chemistry, adhesives and analysis to solve an ammunition problem.

Gum arabic is a natural product from the trees Acacia Senegal and is used as a binder in the manufacturer of small and medium caliber primer pellets. Because Gum arabic comes from a natual source, the variations in the gum's physical, chemical and mechanical properties may lead to misfiring of the bullets.

This project has extensively measured many physical and chemical characteristics of Gum arabic that may relate to the misfiring problem. These characteristics could be used to establish improved specifications. The current effort is devoted to identification of synthetic replacements for Gum arabic.

To accomplish this goal, an industry/goverment Integrated Project Team has been organized and consists of members of Project Manager-Maneuver Ammunition Systems, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Joint Munitions Command, Forest Products Laboratory and Alliant Tech Systems.