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How to store finished compositions/stars?


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#1 AzoMittle

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 12:49 AM

I searched the forums and google and found a few threads talking about storing chemicals but nothing on finished compositions.

 

I have a (regrettably) poor understanding of electricity and static (it's all black magic to me) but I know that plastics tend to collect static charges. What is the best way to store stars and such? Are ziploc baggies and re-purposed plastic jars okay or should I invest in special containers? If so, which?

 

What about rocket motors? Would dipping them in wax to seal them up be a good idea?

 

I would never, ever be so stupid as to store flash or whistle.


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#2 OldMarine

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 06:29 AM

I keep my BP rocket motors in a large Ziploc bag with a desiccant pack. I keep chems and comps in HDPE containers. I don't make whistle mix but I would think it should be stored in an anti-static bag.
Ned Gorski recommends placing foil tape over rocket nozzles for storage. That and a clay bulkhead seals the rocket from moisture.
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#3 Sulphurstan

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 03:36 PM

For finished compositions, I guess most important is prevent moisture (like Oldmarine, I use zip lock with a small dessicant pack).
Some of them I keep in a big hdpe box with a Calcium Chloride batch, very much moisture absorbant!, once it is wet (it eventually will), dry in the oven, and use again!

Another thing for keeping the finished comps: out of reach of curious people.... (children are).

#4 Seymour

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 03:36 AM

Personally I think the main thing is to prevent the ignition of one thing from spreading to the rest, at least for long enough for evacuation from the building.

HDPE buckets with snap on lids should be able to withstand stars bouncing off without immediately igniting the contents. Of course this does not provide unlimited protection, but I think it is much better than just ziplock bags. 

Keep the lids secured shut, so the bucket can be thrown across the room by a small explosion without the contents coming out and contributing to an accident.

 

Each bucket can have several different types of stars or composition inside, in their own ziplock bags, or even paper bags.

 

I only bother with desiccant with things that I consider to be damaged by moisture, which is mostly Whistle for me, but also some AP + MgAl compositions, even though I use dichromate. I rarely use Mg, but desiccant would help here too



#5 calebkessinger

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:08 AM

I'm loving my new containers.  They are polypropylene and very durable.  I was sorting through my chem stash just last night with them..

Got the top shelf sorted out.  now on to the rest of the mess.

14796200805631657992333.jpg

 

The 32oz.  jars nicely hold 1lb of finished stars or comp. 
I just put a kilo of finished comets in the larger 64 oz jar. 
I've got some more larger containers on order also.  I'm gonna get this packrat nest cleaned up and organized so I can see what's in here.  I really like being able to see how much is in the jars. 

Azo.      A lot of people store whistle just as any other comp.  It's not gonna spontaneously go boom.  You'll find buckets of it at any big pyro get together where people are making rockets. 


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#6 Sulphurstan

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 12:16 PM

Another idea: i usually store the fuels separately from the oxydizers (one shelf -calebkessinger like- for each). Theorically, that doesnt matter much, the jars are clean, right? But it is more like a "good practice".

Does somebody has some experience with storing crackling mictostars (the MgAl-bismuth comp)?

#7 Arthur

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 02:44 PM

I do like the idea of stout cardboard boxes for poly bags of stars. 



#8 OldMarine

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 04:32 PM

I use the shoe box sized snap top boxes lined wit a large Ziplock for most chems and tubs for most bulky items. 

Attached File  Chems (800x600).jpg   258.18KB   0 downloads 

 

I store my crackle in LDPE containers that pretzels and nuts come in. As long as the crackle is devoid of remaining acetone it keeps great.

Attached File  Crackle.jpg   29.8KB   0 downloads


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#9 Mumbles

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 04:48 PM

I'm fond of plastic or paper bags inside of HDPE 5 gallon buckets.  There are smaller buckets as well (1-2.5 gal) that are convenient for compositions and supplies some make in bulk.  They're convenient for stuff like lift, BP coated rice hulls, polverone, etc.  

 

I can speak from experience that 5 gallon buckets with sturdy lids will survive a flash fire.  By sturdy lid I mean something like a gamma seal, or one that's thicker with a gasket and long tabs that sort of snap on.  Not something like this: http://www.usplastic...02976&catid=686  They might be fine but I would be less confident in them.


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#10 OldMarine

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:27 PM

Attached File  TPhoto_00002.jpg   38.37KB   1 downloadsI love the screw top pool chem buckets. I add an o-ring seal to the lid and they are airtight.

 


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#11 Seymour

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:29 PM

 

 

Does somebody has some experience with storing crackling mictostars (the MgAl-bismuth comp)?

 

Sulphurstan, I do. I've stored some batches for over 5 years without them seeming to have deteriorated at all. I have not given them special treatment, just in a bag in a bucket.


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#12 greenlight

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 04:05 AM

Same here, I have had a large batch of bismuth/MgAl crackling stars in small plastic container for over a year now with no problems or change in performance at all.
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#13 Sulphurstan

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 01:15 PM

Same here, I have had a large batch of bismuth/MgAl crackling stars in small plastic container for over a year now with no problems or change in performance at all.

  

Sulphurstan, I do. I've stored some batches for over 5 years without them seeming to have deteriorated at all. I have not given them special treatment, just in a bag in a bucket.


Ok, thank you for this iexperience about the crackling stars storage

#14 starxplor

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 10:35 PM

Can we get more pictures of people's storage? I can't be the only one who finds this interesting...



#15 OldMarine

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 10:40 PM

Can we get more pictures of people's storage? I can't be the only one who finds this interesting...

I'd have to tidy up a bit before I posted the other shelves in my shed. One still has some antique toys stored on it.


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#16 starxplor

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 10:48 PM

I'd have to tidy up a bit before I posted the other shelves in my shed. One still has some antique toys stored on it.

 

I'd have to wait for the ground to thaw/dig up some earth to even get in my shed to take a pic. Might try this coming weekend if it stays up in the low-mid 40's as Thursday and Friday are predicted.



#17 Sulphurstan

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 02:46 PM

Can we get more pictures of people's storage? I can't be the only one who finds this interesting...

Here's my storage of raw chemicals: fuels on top shelf, oxydizers on mid shelf, tools on the lower shelf. Finished comps are in a separate container a little away from these.

Attached Files



#18 MrW

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 07:58 AM

No pictures, but I used an old fridge (not working) with good door seals in the back of my shed. Freezer compartment for oxidisers. Fridge part for fuels, fuses for the stuff I'm currently using and tools. Then each chem in its own food grade plastic container. It keeps it nice and dry. Else I use 20 litre hdpe containers with rubber seals. Same thing.. fuels in one, oxidisers, metals, binders etc etc in their own bucket.

#19 Sulphurstan

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 01:39 PM

Looks like most of us have the same rules for storage: since we're still all here to talk about it, it must be more or less the good way! Safety first

#20 OldMarine

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 05:53 PM

Got a couple more pics of my little shop:

These are my frequently used chems/metals and screens

Attached File  20161125_135043.jpg   172.4KB   1 downloads  

 

This is my fusing, pre-made mine pistons and precut tube section:

Attached File  20161125_135141.jpg   175.87KB   1 downloads

 

 

 


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