I'm fairly new in the art of manufacturing pyrotechnic compounds. I spent months researching safety procedures, the best wood types to use for charcoal, how to make charcoal, and reading tons of pyrotechnic / firework books and research papers before actually deciding to make any compounds myself. An from reading so much I know that many self-respecting pyro's will strive to master the art of producing quality BP before trying to move on to anything else. That's what my goal is at least.
A little bit about my current setup for producing BP; I don't use a ball mill, I don't use a mortar & pestle, nor a blender / coffee grinder. I separately grind the ingredients (mainly just C, my KNO3 / S is already super super fine) into a very fine floating dust by hand prior to beginning the integration process of the three components. I do not use any type of binders either when granulating.
I follow a guide written by a gentleman who frequents these forums that was designed for creating non-milled BP, and you'll have to excuse me but I've forgotten his name as I downloaded the guide months ago from a thread I stumbled across.
Upon completion of getting my components to the fineness that I desire, I then place them in an anti-static mixing container and hand mix all three of them with a paint stirrer for about 120 revolutions.
I then place the mixture into a sieve and sieve it through into another anti-static container, before proceeding to repeat the step listed above. I repeat both steps 1 and 2, alternating from one container to the other until I have a very homogeneous mixture (To the naked eye it's homogeneous; I perform this initial mixing process for an hour or more)
At this point I take a 70/30 mix of alcohol and water and begin to stir it into my compound until forming an almost play-doe like consistency before pressing through a screen and granulating it, at which point I will let this sit out in the sun to dry until it's ready to perform.
Now believe it or not, I actually can produce a finished BP using this method that is capable of being used for lift purposes, it's not anywhere near blazing fast during an open burn and is lots and lots of work to make, but confined it does the trick which is good enough for me.
My question is, when doing an "open burn" test, it will burn but there always seems to be these extremely small molten hot white balls, almost like miniature BB's that show up when it's burned through and they stay hot for a little bit of time after the initial powder has burned (Like 1 second). Maybe 5 - 7 of these BB like objects will show up from open burn testing a 0.5g pile of BP, you see them roll around very briefly while they're still red hot (blink of an eye) and then that's it.
Does anyone have any clue what this is? Is it KNO3? I only ask because all of the burn tests I've seen people do, they did not have this phenomena occur. Even watching people burn powder as slow or slower than mine did not have this occur.
Edit: If I see white specks in my mixture still after it starts to dry does that mean I need to re-mix it and add more water to help integrate the KNO3 more?
Edited by AntarcticFX, 17 March 2019 - 01:42 PM.