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Alternative oxidizers for flash powder


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#1 Somali

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 12:15 AM

I have always wanted to make some firecrackers, but the problem is that I live in a european country where pyro chemicals, especially oxidizers are not easily available. The only thing I can get OTC is sodium nitrate since it's used as a concrete additive. Or could if it was not out of stock everywhere :angry: . Chlorates and perclorates are literally illegal.

 

What else could I use? Copper oxide looks promising, but it's very expensive. Some sulfates apparently work, but are hard to ignite and burn slowly. But that's also true for nitrates without sulfur (another chemical I can't get easily). I heard nitrate and magnesium works, but magnesium is not as OTC or cheap as aluminium.

 

How would a mix of CuO and NaNO3 work as an oxidizer for aluminium powder? Or could I replace some of the aluminium with another fuel to make it easier to ignite (something else than sulfur or magnesium).



#2 NeighborJ

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 01:10 AM

I have never tried making flash from sodium nitrate but I can vouch for the awesome power of the copper thermite. Black copper oxide is comparable in price to good perchlorate here but it is not difficult to make. A simple cell with copper electrodes will make it. There are quite a few YouTube clips out there describing the process. I will do a little research and try to get back to you.

#3 Pyrodood

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 07:02 PM

I tried to make some small yellow colored inserts using a 50/50 mix of sodium nitrate and approx 100-200 mesh magnesium treated with dichromate.

I got several very loud reports with no trace of yellow color instead.



#4 Mumbles

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 07:05 PM

Flash powder is really not the right place to start experimenting with pyrotechnics.  You may want to look into some of the EU based suppliers.  Shipping within Europe is not generally a problem from what I've heard.  


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#5 dangerousamateur

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 10:40 AM

In what country are you located?

 

 

You could convert sodium to postassium nitrate.



#6 Aspirina

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:52 PM

You can get a lot of chemicals here in Europe, Im from Spain and I have a little collection of chems... With this chems I can make a lot of compositions, for the most dangerous and illegal chems you must found contacts... here or on european forums. For example in my experience I get firecrackers, and shells by post and I never had a problem. And in the case if you have bad luck and the police open the package and found something illegal, the problem is for the supplyer and not for you...

 

the conclusion: You always run a risk, in Europe this hobby is not easy...

 

http://www.pyrofire....p.php?kat_id=28

http://www.pyrogarage.pl/chemicals.htm

http://www.pyrogate.eu/

http://www.pyroshopping.eu/store.php

http://nitroparis.com/ (maybe only companies can buy here)

http://www.bombashop.com/


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#7 OldMarine

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 04:05 PM

Every time I grumble about government interference in my life I look east across the Atlantic and thank God I'm still as free as I am and then get to work getting more of my liberty back. Stay green, be safe and Viva Liberty!


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#8 Somali

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 09:58 PM

In what country are you located?

 

 

You could convert sodium to postassium nitrate.

 

Finland

 

You can get a lot of chemicals here in Europe, Im from Spain and I have a little collection of chems... With this chems I can make a lot of compositions, for the most dangerous and illegal chems you must found contacts... here or on european forums. For example in my experience I get firecrackers, and shells by post and I never had a problem. And in the case if you have bad luck and the police open the package and found something illegal, the problem is for the supplyer and not for you...

 

the conclusion: You always run a risk, in Europe this hobby is not easy...

 

http://www.pyrofire....p.php?kat_id=28

http://www.pyrogarage.pl/chemicals.htm

http://www.pyrogate.eu/

http://www.pyroshopping.eu/store.php

http://nitroparis.com/ (maybe only companies can buy here)

http://www.bombashop.com/

 

Thanks for the links. One little problem though. Shipping is quite expensive and can cost more than the chemicals itself, which means it's sensible to order a lot of stuff at the same time. I wouldn't be afraid to order 1 kg of something like magnesium, sulfur or potassium nitrate separately, but ordering many pyro chemicals at the same time would leave no ambiguity about their purpose. Maybe I'm paranoid, but people have had their homes raided for purchasing gardening equipment online. This happens when cops don't have enough real crimes to solve. That's why I'd like to use OTC stuff whenever possible.



#9 dangerousamateur

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 11:07 AM

It depends on the individual climate in your country.

 

 

but people have had their homes raided for purchasing gardening equipment online. This happens when cops don't have enough real crimes to solve

Typical thing nowadays.

 

You you only want bangers anyway, try to start your own chlorate production.

Aluminium youre going to have to import though.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you one of those "refugee" supporters? :D



#10 XMax

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 02:26 PM

 

Finland

 

 

Thanks for the links. One little problem though. Shipping is quite expensive and can cost more than the chemicals itself, which means it's sensible to order a lot of stuff at the same time. I wouldn't be afraid to order 1 kg of something like magnesium, sulfur or potassium nitrate separately, but ordering many pyro chemicals at the same time would leave no ambiguity about their purpose. Maybe I'm paranoid, but people have had their homes raided for purchasing gardening equipment online. This happens when cops don't have enough real crimes to solve. That's why I'd like to use OTC stuff whenever possible.

 

 It wouldn't be any problem. If you order from pyrogarage for example, they don't sell illigal chems (per)chlorates to persons, only b2b.



#11 Somali

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 05:46 PM

I made some CaSO4/Al. It burned much faster than expected. Almost instantly I would say. But it's still very hard to ignite. Visco fuse or a simple flame couldn't do it. Neither did match heads, not even the whole box at once. Butane torch could ignite it, but it still took a while. Sparkler worked, but I ran out of sparklers.

 

Is CaSO4/Mg easier to ignite? Or CuO/Al? I need to make some kind of ignition mix unless I want to use sparklers as fuses.



#12 NeighborJ

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 07:04 PM

Do not use a sparkler to lite the Cu thermite. A stray spark will ignite it energeticly and you don't want to be near it when it goes. Visco works just fine. When it goes it ejects molten cu particles which can ignite other flammable things around it. Often tiny amounts of cu thermite is used in igniters for hard to lite rocket motors.
I am interested in seeing where your experiments lead with the sulfate mixtures. Shimizu called them negative explosives even though is kind of a misnomer because it has much less energy than BP. Ive asked about it a few times but this community seems to have a lack of interest so Ive been saving those experiments for a later date.

#13 Somali

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:32 AM

I don't understand. A sparkler can easily light sulfate/Al in the open, but not when confined. First I tried some powder inside a foil ball and a sparkler as a fuse. Didn't work. Then I tried ~20g in a cardboard tube that was plugged from both ends. Failed again.



#14 NeighborJ

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:56 AM

Sounds like you tried it with really fine powder. I'm fairly certain that it needs to be granulated with NC laqeur, the voids between the granules are needed as a fire pathway.

#15 Somali

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:08 PM

Adding a tiny amount of homemade Mg powder made it more easily ignitable.



#16 Mumbles

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:55 PM

You know, if you can't source the proper materials, you probably shouldn't be messing with pyro at all for the moment.  I assure you the supplies are available if you try.  


Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

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#17 NeighborJ

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:18 PM

Let's see if we can help you find the right stuff. When looking at Shimizus formula for orange negative explosive I can see that it calls for 50 parts magnesium (-80 mesh), 25 parts magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, 25 parts calcium sulfate heptahydrate, and 10 parts parlon, then granulated with nitrocellulose solution.
It sounds as if you have the CaSO4 and you can make small amounts of magnesium so that leaves MgSO4 which can be bought almost anywhere as bath salt, check in the pharmacy isle. The parlon is chlorinated rubber and is used in pyro to improve the color saturation, it can be purchased from any pyro supplier but should be able to be omitted if the color is not important to you. The NC is important because it acts as both the glue for granulating and will help to lower the ignition temp. It is made from dissolving smokeless powder in acetone or MEK but can sometimes be found in music stores for refinishing string instruments.
Do some digging to see what ingredients you have available to you, then check back in, I'm sure we can find a way to help you find the missing ingredients.

#18 lloyd

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:58 PM

"It is made from dissolving smokeless powder in acetone or MEK but can sometimes be found in music stores for refinishing string instruments."

-------------

Unless you intend to use it ONLY as a binder and not as an ignition aid, NC lacquer intended for wood finishing is not a very good choice.  It is ordinarily made from low-nitration NC, and with adjunct chemicals (primarily plasticizers) that reduce its flammability and its value in fireworks.

 

Lacquers made from single or double-base smokeless shooting powders are more appropriate.

 

Lloyd


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#19 NeighborJ

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:06 PM

Good point Lloyd, I am not sure that smokeless powder is available to the public in Finland so I named the next best thing. I think this hobby would be a real task in certain countries so I am trying to name the most commonly available items for which one can attain OTC.

#20 Somali

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:49 PM

You know, if you can't source the proper materials, you probably shouldn't be messing with pyro at all for the moment.  I assure you the supplies are available if you try.  

The only thing I literally cannot get is perchlorate, because it's banned in the EU. For the rest, it's more about not wanting to pay for shipping.

 

 

Let's see if we can help you find the right stuff. When looking at Shimizus formula for orange negative explosive I can see that it calls for 50 parts magnesium (-80 mesh), 25 parts magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, 25 parts calcium sulfate heptahydrate, and 10 parts parlon, then granulated with nitrocellulose solution.
It sounds as if you have the CaSO4 and you can make small amounts of magnesium so that leaves MgSO4 which can be bought almost anywhere as bath salt, check in the pharmacy isle. The parlon is chlorinated rubber and is used in pyro to improve the color saturation, it can be purchased from any pyro supplier but should be able to be omitted if the color is not important to you. The NC is important because it acts as both the glue for granulating and will help to lower the ignition temp. It is made from dissolving smokeless powder in acetone or MEK but can sometimes be found in music stores for refinishing string instruments.
Do some digging to see what ingredients you have available to you, then check back in, I'm sure we can find a way to help you find the missing ingredients.

CaSO4 hemihydrate+Mg+Al already worked. Just a simple mix of powders. Granulating it is an interesting idea though. I think I saw a full can of laqcuer somewhere but it's so old that it might be gone bad already.






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