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Redgum whistle mix and degradation of WM due to copper compounds


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The days are getting shorter again and I feel the itch for some new tests ;)


Using RG in whistle was mentioned here in the forum, I'd like bring that up again.




Maybe Explosives Laboratory is even here in the forum?



Copper oxychloride will begin to degrade your whistle fuel after about a week. Give it a few months and the rocket or other devices made from it will likely explode. This is due to the Oxychloride chemically damaging the benzoate through unauthorized bondage to random positions on the benzoate creating cyclopentadienyl ligands that make the fuel to hot, causing your motor to detonate. However, note that it is possible to counteract this issue to a certain extent by adding an additional 0.5% Ferrocene or Vinylferrocene to your whistle mix, when using any catalysts containing Cu.

Can somebody comment on this, is there some source?

I have some samples leftover from 2020, can assume these to have a measurable increase in burnrate? And concerning using RG, my idea of the process would be like EL describes it in his comments, like I would with RG bound BP. What is your preferred process? I could also imagine using plain water and dissolve the benzoate rather than the RG...?


Another thought: will RG have an influence on sound production? I could imagine it to smoothen the burn, stepping in between the pulses, like it would in a barium nitrate based strobe. I know that adding charcoal or BP will do this.

Not that it's a problem if the objective is a powerful lifter, I'm just curious. Judging from Explosives Laboratory's video it still screams, but - maybe less than without?




Concerning water vs. alcohol granulation - I'm not sure, but I think I remember some star experiments from a long time ago - once dissolved by alcohol, the RG stayed sticky... I think permanently...

Edited by mabuse00
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I am not in a position to answer with any certainty, but I have several batches of whistle mix made with Copper Oxychloride from various times over the past few years. None of them sound / appear to have deteriorated or detonate, regardless of being loose in the container or pressed in a tube. Some of the whistle is used as a burst booster in shells, and has no phlegmitizer included.


As for Red gum, I also tried that recently, it was the "new Whistle" on FW.com (uses red gum and perlite)from Neighbor J I think, and if anything the mix burned much quieter than normal K Benz whistle, with a borderline dog whistle sound to it. They were small tubes (5/16" spollette), but it made me not want to try any further with it. I use normal K Benz and it's much louder in the same size tube. I can't speak to it's lifting power though, I don't make enough rockets to have enough experience to compare.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I have some samples leftover from 2020, can assume these to have a measurable increase in burnrate?

The burnrate of the old stuff just proved to be identical - at atmospheric pressure that is.

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