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A common name for potassium nitrate. Saltpeter, or niter, can form as efflorescence on rocks and masonry. It is used in the manufacture of glass, frits, explosives, and gunpowder. Sodium nitrate was called Chile niter, and Chile saltpeter. Norway saltpeter is calcium nitrate.

Synonyms and Related Terms

salt peter; saltpetre; potassium nitrate; niter; nitre; Chile niter; Chile salt petre; Norway saltpeter; Norwegian saltpetre

Other Properties

Soluble in water

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • R. Mayer, The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques, Viking Press, New York, 1981 Comment: p. 632
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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