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Red Glitter

red glitter red strobe matrix comets chrysanthemum 6

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#1 PhoenixRising

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 11:17 AM

So, curiousity got the better of me and I decided to chase after the "elusive red glitter."  (though, many have already said it's just a simple matrix comet)

 

Made some red nitrate strobe, parlon bound (9 percent parlon) and hand granulated it so I could get a good variation on size and see what works. 

 

Attached File  20180714_214227.jpg   181.84KB   3 downloads

 

I thought about granulating the c6 matrix that the comets would be made from, but decided that pre-granulating and drying the c6 would in fact make the granules stronger than the parlon-bound strobe, and when pressed together it would probably crush the strobe to death.  So, I opted for just lightly milling the c6 and using it loose as to encase the strobes rather than crush them.  Used 7 percent dextrin as I use really chunky charcoal and the addition of strobe might make the comets even weaker.  I was afraid of adding too much dextrin in fear that it might effect how the strobes release, although this may just be fear from experience with traditional glitters.  No priming was used on the strobes.

 

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20g of strobe was added to 100g of comp, which is technically less than the 20 percent that has been specified by others, it was close enough for testing purposes.  All of the "matrix comp" is added at once and pressed.  I wanted to avoid incremental pressing because it might destroy the strobe granules.  I have a very "primitive" hand press for my comets.  If hand-ramming, remember a series of light taps is better than a few big ones.  Little taps add up and accuracy is better than power.  You can add BP prime to the top an bottom of these if you want (I did) but probably isn't necassary as c6 takes fire just as easy as BP.  

 

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1.75" comets (or thereabouts, shot from consumer fiberglass, naked with no sabot) weighed 27g and used 2g of BP to lift it.  

 

Mind the silly video, I didn't feel like wasting precious visco for a simple comet test so a piece of BM was used.  Also, it had rained about 30 minutes prior to shooting so fallout was not an issue.  

 

 

The main reason I used the hand granulating method other than variation in strobe size, was to make it quick and easy.  To be honest, cutting them isn't much more work but this is how I chose to do it, quick and dirty.  I didn't want to use an exotic binder and I wanted to avoid using dextrin binding for the strontium strobes as it would possilby lead to water getting driven in, especially if put into a charcoal heavy comet that is water bound.  Used 9 percent moisture to bind the c6 and they were ready to shoot the next night (although another day or 2 of drying wouldn't hurt them I imagine).  Parlon strobes were dry in about an hour or 2.

 

From the looks of this test, the larger granules of strobe should be broken down a bit.  The video shows a bit of strobes coming down, really all but 2 of them burned out right before hitting the ground.  If reducing those bigger particles doesn't work then next time I can use finer Mg/Al (used 80-200, could blend that with 325) or adding 1 to 2 percent CuO could speed things up too.  Passing the granules through a screen and accurately sizing them would be preferable, but I don't have the necessary screens.  Hopefully the next person to pursue this will accurately size the strobes using screens, (this would be VERY easy while the parlon granules are still damp).

 

The goal with these is to get the stobes to burn fast and "glittery", so small fast burning strobes is the key here.  More testing is in order but I hope this gets others started on the right track.  There's a few variations I've seen on this effect from different manufacturers but for now I'd be happy with just doing simple comets. 


Edited by PhoenixRising, 18 July 2018 - 01:23 PM.

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#2 Ubehage

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 08:31 PM

What was the composition used for the red nitrate strobe?


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#3 PhoenixRising

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:09 AM

Trying to find the source of this formula but I can't seem to locate it.  It was in a stack of old notes I had from last season and just never got around to making it.  As far as I know it's not a protected formula, in addition I do my own twist, but hopefully if it is protected someone will be kind enough to come along and notify me.  

 

53 SrNO3

17 S

17 Mg/al

8 Sb2S3

9 Parlon


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#4 Ubehage

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:30 AM

Thanks :) Looks fairly simple.


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#5 PhoenixRising

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 09:46 AM

No problem, glad I could help!  



#6 pyrokid

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 08:18 PM

Thank you for documenting this experiment. Color glitter and matrix comets are both topics that interest me quite a bit. Your red strobe formula looked very nice on video!
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#7 OldMarine

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 08:40 PM

Just curious. Did you dry the SrNO3 beforehand?
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#8 PhoenixRising

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 01:08 PM

Thanks PK, yes the video was pretty close to as it looked in person.  I've had better luck capturing pyro with a phone cam than anything I've used thus far.  They seem to have the colors and contrast dialed in nicely for general use.  Can't wait to try Barium for some green.  Most times it's a 1:1 swap.  Would a 3:1 swap make yellow strobe? 

 

One can play with the mesh of Mg/Al used to adjust the strobe rate, and I'm thinking for the "red glitter" effect we may opt for finer Mg/Al here (325?) or at least smaller stars.  Some more testing and BETTER SIZING OF STARS would certainly help.  I really need a legit set of screens.

 

Hey Patrick!  The Nitrate was dried about a week or 2 before the 4th if I remember correctly, so it hasn't been sitting long.  This was old stock from HobbyChem that was Domestic Dupont brand.  

 

I did use acetone to bind with parlon, so water really wasn't an issue this time.  I think as long as you're using acetone to bind (I wonder if phenolic works for these?) the strontium may not need to be perfectly dry.  Of course, it's probably not a bad idea to dry the strontium beforehand, especially if you decide to roll with dextrin.  More exotic binding methods can be used.  Pyro-gear uk has discussed some really good alternative binding methods for color and crackle comps.

 

It seems like strontium nitrate (even this high purity domestic stuff) is more hygroscopic than even sodium nitrate, IME.  The sodium nitrate that the cookbook sells is good stuff.  I wonder if it makes good bacon?   


Edited by PhoenixRising, 20 July 2018 - 01:09 PM.


#9 pyrokid

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 04:47 PM

I'll see if I can try some PVB binding on this comp this weekend. On that note, the PVB is really promising. I rolled some AP - MgAl - sulfate strobes with ~3% PVB to ~3/16" by hand with 90% isopropanol and they work very well. 

 

I think the hand granulation method referenced above could stand to be improved. The uniformity of the tail would be improved if you had better control of the density and size distribution of the microstars. If you could zero in on the critical size range to give a single flash, a novel effect would result.

 

With certain effects it may be desired to have a cleaner burning matrix composition. Is anyone willing to share some matrix compositions that don't leave a tail? Just off the top, it should be well balanced so as to not eject burning remnants from the star body. Is 75-15-10 with some fraction of inert filler viable? Are there compositions which are both dark and reasonably fast burning?



#10 PhoenixRising

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 05:30 PM

I actually got some PVB on the way, a little sample just to see how it works.  I'd rather leave some of the details out just so that others will go visit pyro-gear uk and read there.  Those guys deserve some recognition for their efforts so go visit and read.  

 

There are cleaner burning charcoal comps out there, if you are going after a "clean glitter", not to mention pasting the top half of the comet might not hurt.  At least it appears one of the manufacturers might be doing it that way.  Let's not get too specific here as I tihnk it would be rude to name names, not to mention there is more than one way to do this effect.  For instance, I've seen a willow/horsetail effect with these where they are rather "dumped" from the shell with a heavy charcoal comp. 

 

Another possibilty is to place the stobes only in the very center of the comet as the comp is being added in the press.  That way when it burns you only get a burst of glitter near the end of flight.  I'd personally love to see a comet that crackles on the way up then dumps strobes right at the apogy.  

 

As long as the charcoal is milled finely beforehand, a straight BP mix should produce very little tail.  (This is where pasting could possibly be useful for controlling the burnspeed)


Edited by PhoenixRising, 20 July 2018 - 05:32 PM.


#11 PhoenixRising

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 04:30 PM

Just had one more thought to throw in the pile here:  What if the burn rate can be controlled with carbonates?  I'd like to think pasting comets on a commercial level is a little too much work.  Could be wrong about that though.

The addition of a few percent strontium or barium carbonate (red/green respectively) to the BP matrix would likely not effect the strobe.  Pretty sure I've seen strobe formulae that include carbonates?  

 

The small strobes might actually benefit from the carbonate addition to the BP, allowing them to survive a little longer creating a longer glitter tail.  

 

WIll carbonates clean up the flame envelope as well?  

 

Re-reading this, just to avoid any confusion, I'm talking about adding carbonates to only the BP (or whatever comp is used to put the strobes into.) 

 

I think ultimately having fine milled charcoal is going to be the most important factor here for a clean tail. 

 

I'll hold off on any more posting here until there's some more results to share, just wanted to throw this out there in case anyone else is playing around with this idea as well.  


Edited by PhoenixRising, 22 July 2018 - 09:48 AM.


#12 PhoenixRising

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 06:56 PM

Tried a different matrix.  Thought to maybe treat it as a glitter and add antimony trisulfide and a carbonate.  

 

74 BP (used willow, lightly milled)

8 Sulfur

8 Antimony Trisulfide

5 Strontium Carbonate

5 Dextrin

+ 20 percent strobe 

pumped with 8 percent water

 

It appears I got the strobe size right this time, but the addition of antimony probably coated the strobes and washed them out.  

The result was pink and white glitter with still a bit of charcoal tail.  Used a sabot for this comet and got much better height.  (Comets fit a touch loose for the mortar but not too bad)

 

 

While it was pretty, it ain't what I was shooting for.  The extra dross created by the carbonate/antimony/sulfur mix is great for tradional glitter, but maybe not so much here.  

 

These were rush dried so the little fallout at the end could be a little slag from water.  They really just needed another day or 2 of drying at most.  

 

Would leaving the antimony out of the BP matrix improve the color?  Perhaps priming the strobes would help protect them?  This still leaves the problem of the charcoal tail.  

 

I have a couple more tricks to try out that may very well work.  

 

I'm convinced these can be done cheaply and easily, at least to a "satisfactory" effect, even if it might include a little paste wrap. 

 

Earlier I said these are likely not pasted on a commecial scale, Then I thought of how much work goes into hand-loading roman candles, and small cakes, and how many of 'those' are made each year.  Surely, pasting some comets on a commercial scale is not out of the realm of possibility.  To be sure, I'd much rather dial in a clean burning comp then have to resort to pasting, but at least with the pasting method we can be assured of a more controlled burn rate, especially with taller comets. 

 

 

 

 



#13 kingkama

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 05:46 PM

In my opinion the matrix must to be a simple willow composition with at least a metal to enrich the tail. Jorge sell a cake with so called red flashing willow this the effect we run for, try to sy on their site the promo or this link

#14 PhoenixRising

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 08:54 PM

Those are nice, but that's not quite the effect that I'm chasing after right now.  I'm kind of looking to get rid of the charcoal tail on these so that only the red glitter shows. 

 

This second attempt was to see if the strobes could be "blended" into a traditional glitter.  FWIW, at least we know that matrix with antimony would make a really good white strobe/charcoal comet.  Going to save that one for later.  (possibly swapping the strontium with barium carbonate to enhance the whiteness) 

 

I think you are right, that particular effect is a simple willow or c8 type comp wtih a little FeTi at most.  Those are very pretty and using a simple charcoal comp is an easy way to do matrix stars IMO.  

 

More testing is coming soon.  Took a little pitstop to make some crackle recently.  Fun stuff!  


Edited by PhoenixRising, 26 July 2018 - 08:57 PM.


#15 kingkama

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 11:22 PM

Ok so the target is to find a Matrix without tail...can we try to enbedd the micro star in a mix of a sugar (lactose, sucrose,) a oxidizer a binder like Red gum?

#16 PhoenixRising

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 12:12 PM

I actually thought about that, but realized that sugars give off a little too much smoke.  Although, strobes flashing around a white smoke trail could be an effect unto its own?  

 

For Red gum, I've thought about using Shimizu's dark relay comp.  That'd very likely work.

 

It's likely just a BP matrix.  How often do you see spolettes giving off a tail?  My problem is that I've never had to make finely milled charcoal for a comet before, which is usually the "opposite" of what others struggle with.    

 

The only things to play with are tweaking the sulfur levels and or addition of carbonate.  Oh, and paste wrap.  

 

More to come, I'm trying not to post until I have some results to share.  I have some more results already but it'll be another couple days till I post details.   


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#17 dynomike1

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 01:52 PM

Where you going to find sb2s3?


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#18 Mumbles

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:35 PM

Do you mean besides most major pyrotechnic chemical suppliers?  It's antimony trisulfide if you don't recognize the chemical formula.


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#19 dynomike1

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 01:49 PM

Thanks


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#20 dynomike1

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:14 AM

I looked it up and it didn't say trisulfide

Edited by dynomike1, 10 August 2018 - 08:17 AM.

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