Hello! For this test I wanted to compare the "airfloat" charcoal from pyrochemsource which I deemed not worth my money, vs something that is common survival and bushcraft knowledge which is charcloth. Charcloth is 100% cotton denim that is charred, this char cloth that I utilized was char cloth that I had created a few months back strictly for the outdoors and fire starting when camping. However, I wanted to know how it would perform as black powder. Charcloth can go up with a single spark, and has a low density. I obviously know that charcoal is a better option via cost and a better quality for a higher quantity, but I was just curious and wanted to do an experiment today. The ratios were the typical 75-15-10 and I do not have a ball mill. Due to this I used a mortar and pestle for 20 minutes straight on each mixture (timed). I then took a half gram each (its on the spoon in the image, notice the lower density of the char which is the bigger pile same weight) and I made a line approximately a half centimeter wide by 18.7 cm long. I put it on paper which probably was a mistake, but since I live at my parents house and I would be a senior in hs (in community college, but I would be a senior right now) I can't just use my fathers boards for building raised beds or anything else in my house since I would get in trouble (don't worry they let me do this stuff, we got a big backyard) . The black powder did burn at a very constant rate (as I shook it in an enclosed plastic container for five minutes before taking the half gram) and the airfloat mix wasn't affected by the burning of the paper behind it. The pyrochemsource airfloat burned on average around a rate of 2.07cm per second. The other charcloth blackpowder started about at 8 seconds and ended around 12.9 seconds (guesstimating), this is a rate of about 3.82 cm per second. This is honestly straight up doodoo, but I only used the mortar and pestle for about 20 minutes because I didn't want anything going too fast since it could get hard to measure with the course adjustments of Photo Booth. (I need to learn video editing and frames and such, that would be more accurate). Anyways please don't buy that airfloat junk, dropping large quarter dollar (measured accurately by weight of course) chunks of charred denim in a mortar and pestle did almost twice the speed of that trash pre milled airfloat (that was also mortared and pestled). The charcloth wasn't amazing or anything as cotton fiber does contain some oils that aid in burning, but honestly pure cotton denim is overpriced as heck, vs just collecting some softwood around a tree. One stick from a pine tree probably weighs more that 12 bucks per yard of denim. Any other sources of cotton such as cotton balls will give you very little weight or yield back via charring. Cotton sourced char gives bad yield and is expensive to get lets say 1 pound of cotton char vs 1 pound of pine or softwood charcoall. 1 pound of charcoal costs very little to make and gives a better percent yield of stick to charcoal. Imagine the cost of buying 8-12 bucks per 10 ounce yard of 100 percent cotton denim that is probably not as good as pine or willow in terms of bp, and then you get a worse yield of cotton to char, you spend more and get a less quality product. So why did I do this experiment??? Well I had a crap pair of old jeans that were 100 percent cotton and I wanted to show how bad that airfloat stuff is. Also I was bored lol.
Pyro Chem Source Charcoal.mov 26.65MB 9 downloads
charcloth-test_Eiex3k8F_XSkM.mov 6.14MB 8 downloads
Edit- Please wear thick fire retardant gloves when using a mortar and pestle on black powder. You should only do it in small quantities of 10 grams or less preferably. The chances of ignition are still low with a mortar and pestle but better safe than sorry since if it would ignite and you were mixing your hand would be cooked to high hell.
Edited by yardarmwheeze, 03 March 2021 - 11:57 AM.