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Encyclopedia > Flash powder

Flash powder is a mixture of oxidizer and metallic fuel which burns quickly and if confined will produce a loud report. It is widely used in theatrical pyrotechnics and fireworks (namely salutes, eg. cherry bombs, M-80s, and firecrackers), and was once used for flashes in photography. An oxidizing agent is a substance that oxidizes another substance in electrochemistry or redox chemical reactions in general. ... Fuel is any material that is capable of releasing energy when its chemical or physical structure is changed or converted. ... Pyrotechnics is a field of study often thought synonymous with the manufacture of fireworks, but more accurately it has a wider scope that includes items for military and industrial uses. ... It has been suggested that Firework be merged into this article or section. ... In pyrotechnics a salute is a device primarily designed to make a loud report (bang), rather than have a visual effect, although most salutes will also have a very bright flash and may have titanium added for a cloud of sparks (titanium salute). ... Cherry bombs are exploding fireworks, usually round, approximately one inch (2. ... M-80s are a class of large firecrackers, sometimes called salutes. ... exploding firecracker A firecracker (also known as a cracker, noisemaker, or banger) is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is incidental to this goal. ... Running water frozen by flash. ... Photography [fәtɑgrәfi:],[foʊtɑgrәfi:] is the process of recording pictures by means of capturing light on a light-sensitive medium, such as a film or sensor. ...


Different varieties of flash powder are made from different compositions; most common are potassium perchlorate and aluminum powder. Sometimes, sulfur is included in the mixture to increase the sensitivity. Early formulations used potassium permanganate instead of perchlorate. Potassium perchlorate, chemical formula KClO4, is a strong oxidizer. ... Aluminum is a soft and lightweight metal with a dull silvery appearance, due to a thin layer of oxidation that forms quickly when it is exposed to air. ... General Name, Symbol, Number sulfur, S, 16 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 16, 3, p Appearance lemon yellow Standard atomic weight 32. ... Potassium permanganate is the chemical compound KMnO4. ...


Flash powders, specifically chlorate/perchlorate ones, are unique in that they produce no gas products (all solid products), which means that they are not explosives by scientific definition. In that regard, they are similar to thermite mixtures. A thermite mixture using Iron Oxide A thermite reaction is a type of aluminothermic reaction in which aluminium metal is oxidized by the oxide of another metal, most commonly iron oxide. ...


Flash powder like mixtures are used in industry and aerospace for generation of large volumes of gas in gas generators, in pyrotechnic fasteners, and in other similar applications. A gas generator usually refers to a propellant mixture, often similar to a solid rocket propellant, that burns to produce large volumes of gas. ... A pyrotechnic fastener (also called an explosive bolt, or pyro, within context) is a fastener, usually a nut or bolt, that incorporates a pyrotechnic charge that can be initiated by a remote command. ...

Contents

Production of flash powder

Hobbyist pyrotechnicians usually use a method called diapering, in which the materials are poured separately onto a large piece of paper, which is then folded up at the corners and gently rocked back and forth until the chemicals are thoroughly mixed. Professionally, automated systems are used to achieve the same result.


Aluminum and Chlorate

Aluminum powder and potassium chlorate is a bad choice for flash powder, for that reason it has been largely replaced by the potassium perchlorate mixture. Aluminum powder and potassium chlorate is preferred only if cost is important, because potassium chlorate is less expensive than potassium perchlorate. Aluminum is a soft and lightweight metal with a dull silvery appearance, due to a thin layer of oxidation that forms quickly when it is exposed to air. ... Potassium chlorate is a compound containing potassium, chlorine and oxygen, with the chemical formula K[ClO3]. In pure form, it is a white crystalline substance. ...


KClO3 + 2Al → Al2O3 + KCl


Aluminum and Perchlorate

Aluminum powder and potassium perchlorate make up the only 2 components of a popular and simple type of flash powder. This compound is stable for a flash powder. Potassium perchlorate, chemical formula KClO4, is a strong oxidizer. ...

3 KClO4 + 8 Al → 4 Al2O3+ 3 KCl
3 KClO4 : 8 Al
3(138.55) : 8(26.98)
415.65 : 215.84

Generally, 70% potassium and 30% aluminum mass mix of potassium perchlorate and aluminum powder works very well. The more finely powdered the materials, the faster the reaction, and the "sharper" the flash.


Magnesium and Potassium Nitrate

Another method for the production of flashpowder is to use a 3:2 ratio of potassium nitrate to magnesium. R-phrases   S-phrases   Supplementary data page Structure and properties n, εr, etc. ... General Name, Symbol, Number magnesium, Mg, 12 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 3, s Appearance silvery white solid at room temp Standard atomic weight 24. ...

3 parts Potassium Nitrate : 2 parts Magnesium

The finer ground (mesh) the magnesium is, the faster it will burn and the more smoke it will produce.


Boron and Potassium Nitrate

A mixture of boron and potassium nitrate is used by NASA as a gas generator and a rocket motor igniter. It is thermally stable, stable in vacuum, and its burn rate is independent on pressure. General Name, Symbol, Number boron, B, 5 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 13, 2, p Appearance black/brown Standard atomic weight 10. ... R-phrases   S-phrases   Supplementary data page Structure and properties n, εr, etc. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States federal government, responsible for the nations public space program. ... A gas generator usually refers to a propellant mixture, often similar to a solid rocket propellant, that burns to produce large volumes of gas. ... A rocket is a vehicle, missile or aircraft which obtains thrust by the reaction to the ejection of fast moving exhaust from within a rocket engine. ...


Zirconium and Potassium Perchlorate

A mixture of metallic zirconium and potassium perchlorate, is known as NASA Standard Initiator. It yields rapid pressure rise, generates little gas but emits hot particles, is thermally stable, is stable under vacuum, and has long shelf life. It is sensitive to static electricity. General Name, Symbol, Number zirconium, Zr, 40 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 4, 5, d Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 91. ... Potassium perchlorate, chemical formula KClO4, is a strong oxidizer. ... Static electricity is a class of phenomena involving the net charge present on an object; typically referring to charged object with voltages of sufficient magnitude to produce visible attraction, repulsion, and sparks. ...


Manganese, Barium Chromate, and Lead Chromate

A mixture of manganese, barium chromate, and lead chromate is used as a time delay mix for pyrotechnic sequencing. It burns without production of gas. General Name, Symbol, Number manganese, Mn, 25 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 7, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Standard atomic weight 54. ... Barium chromate (or barium chromate oxide or chromic acid barium) is a fine light yellow powder with the formula BaCr04. ... Chrome Yellow is a natural yellow pigment made of lead chromate (PbCrO4). ...


External links

  • The Explosives and Weapons Forum contains a number of flash powder "recipes" using a wide variety of materials.

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Theatre Effects - FC01 White A&B Flash Powder (270 words)
Flash Powder creates a flash of fire or light, and a puff of smoke.
Binary Flash Powders are sold as a kit of two bottles, for safe shipping and storage.
The smoke created by Flash Powder has a very mild odor and is generally not irritating.
Flash powder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (350 words)
Flash powder is a mixture of oxidizer and metallic fuel which burns quickly and if confined will produce a loud report.
Aluminum powder and potassium chlorate is a bad choice for flash powder, for that reason it has been largely replaced by the potassium perchlorate mixture.
This compound is stable for a flash powder.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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