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Dear Friends


I can't start a new topic for now, so I'd like to use this forum instead. In my country I can't find Red Gum and Parlon and Potassium perchlorate (KClO4) is banned (newly posted nonsence from EU). What can I use instead of Red Gum and Parlon? And is there any possibility to replace KClO4 with something?

All the best


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What can I use instead of Red Gum and Parlon?


Depends on the composition you are going for.



And is there any possibility to replace KClO4 with something?


Not really, no. Your going to have to find a source, or make your own, to make most colored fireworks. As luck might have it blackpowder-based charcoal stars are perfect for learning the trade, and doesn't need (per)chlorates. Your pretty much out of luck with whistle for the time being, and your going to have to learn how to make nitrate flash work.


Also, this probably shouldn't be in this thread, The reason you couldn't create threads were since you had no forum posts. Now you have, so now you can. Hopefully an admin will break this out, and start a new thread.


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Michael you can replace parlon in most formulas with saran or adopt them easly to pvc (unless if parlon is the binder itself).


You won't need perc in the beginning, apart from that you can easly buy it, if you found a business (at least onmpaper) and buy b2b.

Edited by schroedinger
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And Red Gum is not essential. It's a good fuel, but can be substituted with Resinox and many other fuels. If you know if a fuel has more or less requirement of oxygen to properly burn compared to red gum, you can add more or less of other fuels to substitute the same fuel value.


While Dextrin is not ideal in high percentages because it can be a bit hygroscopic, it is widely available and so I'm going to use it as an example. Let's pretend you wanted to make green stars with the following formula.


Barium nitrate 58%

PVC 15%

Magnalium 15%

Red Gum 4%
Sulfur 4%

Dextrin 4%


Dextrin has less fuel value than Red Gum, which means it requires more Dextrin to balance out the same quantity of oxidiser. I have calculated the fuel value based on the dextrin molecule and a rough idea of some of the major molecular components of red gum, but I'm not sure where my ratios are, and this isn't really that critical (most stars are over fuelled), so I would suggest perhaps using 1.5 times as much dextrin as Red Gum.


And so you can expect that the following formula should also work. It won't be exactly the same, but should be an effective substitute. The 10% Dextrin is from the original 4% + 6% to substitute for the 4% of higher fuel value Red Gum.


58% Barium nitrate

15% PVC
15% Magnalium

10% Dextrin

4% Sulfur


Sulfur is also a fuel with less oxygen requirement than Red Gum. You could instead replace the 4% Red Gum with 6% Sulfur (but keep the 4% Dextrin because of it's requirement as a binder).

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If you can get phenolic resin, it can be substituted 1:1 with red gum, and produces superior results in my opinion. It is an excellent binder as well as a clean burning fuel. Some comps burn a little slower with it, so you might need to add a percent or two of your oxidizer.


As mentioned, Saran can be used in place of Parlon. I also like it better as a chlorine donor, but it does not have the binding properties of Parlon so you might need to make adjustments to the comp.


Unfortunately if you cannot get or make potassium perchlorate, AP and chlorates, most colored stars will be more difficult. That said, assuming you have plenty of KNO3, there is a lot of effects you can make.

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First get to be good with the nitrate compositions, it really is amazing what can be done with nitrates, all the charcoal effects are usually nitrate based -they are all variant forms of BP! Don't get to rely on sulphur to much as once you approach colours you will want to use chlorate or perchlorate, Sulphur and chlorate is NOT considered safe.

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If you do find or make potassium perchlorate, there are plenty of good color comps using nitrates with small amounts of perc to improve the burn rate. They are good colors to begin with, but can by hydroscopic. When you need to conserve the amount of perc you use, they are a great choice.
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Decent nitrate red green and yellow can be made when magnesium is the metal fuel .A sufficient amount of chlorine donor should be used to make the magnesium flame more transparent. In my opinion nitrate-Mg stars always outperform the magnalium ones in color purity.


Care must be taken with these comps because magnesium ignites easier than magnalium.You must coat the magnesium and use organic solvent to prevent spontanoeus combustion.

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