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Blue Star 3 (modified)


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#1 Rooster

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 04:50 PM

Chaz:

Name of composition: Blue Star 3

Composition Type: Blue/Purple Star

Creator: Unknown

Color/Effect: Bluey Purple Star with No Tail

The Composition:

Original:
Potassium Perchlorate.............................63
Copper(II)Oxide................... ................13
Red gum or Shellac (powdered).....................10
Parlon or PVC.....................................14

Modified:
Potassium Chlorate................................63
Copper(II)Oxide................... ................13
Dextrin...........................................10
PV C...............................................14

Any Precautions/Incompatabilities:

Chlorate/Sulfur incompatability if a BP prime is used.

Precedure/Preparation:

Weigh out chemicals and hand mix them, wet with 50/50 water/alcohol solution, then cut, pump or roll. I primed these stars generously with BP (caution is required to due Sulfur/Chlorate clash).



Video: www.infernolabs.co.uk/videos/BlueStar3Mine.wmv
Ground Test: www.infernolabs.co.uk/videos/BlueStar3.wmv

I modified the original formula to use chemicals which I had, so I dont actually know what the original looks like. I assume its pretty much identical to the modified formula. Also I'd like to add that these stars have a tendancy to propell themselves around a bit, as you can see in both the ground test video and the mine.

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Blindreeper:

Sounds like a good go-getter composition! Nice work!

Pity it uses perchlorate

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Chaz:

I dont think they've got enough thrust to be classed as go-getters but they can manoeuvre around a bit.

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Poor Man:

I made a star comp very similar to this, blindreeper will remember as I IM'ed him about putting it in compositions. I think the forumla was roughly the same as this, so I can vouch it makes a nice blue - unfortunately my camera hates colour, and refuses to pick it up unless from a great distance.

Actually, looking at it again, mine was quite different...

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Crysalis:

I remember reading about this somewhere but at the time it wasnt of much interest to me as I had no access to
(per)chlorates but to obtain your PVC do you just file PVC tubing? I also read it could be bought (I assume powdered), although I did a search and couldn't find it. First I need to get some copper hydroxide and synth some Cu(II)O.

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sevin:

Have fun filing down that tube, but it wont work in the end from what I've read. PVC pipe isn't pure PVC apparantly and contains many different filler materials that will make it not work. PVC really isn't that expensive, it's $7 a pound from DP, and little more expensive from SL.

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andyboy:

Nice vid Chaz, very convincing blue. Now, where to get me Copper (II) Oxide without paying for it (broke as hell). I noticed what I think was a charcoal streamer star in the mine, mistake or a test?

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Chaz:

I'm not quite sure how that got there. It wasnt a streamer, I think it was just that I was rolling the stars around in the prime, maybe some of the prime clumped together a bit and grew to the size of a small star. I must have mistaken it for a star and put it in with the blue ones.

Oh and I also forgot to say that these stars look more purple in real life, I did two mines, one without the camera and you could definately see the purpleness, then I only saw the stars through the camera LCD for the second one and they looked completely blue. Its a nice colour in either case.

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Frkonaleash1010:

The good thing that appears to be about this star is the original formula. You can use red gum or shellac, and parlon or PVC. Not too bad for a semi-easy purple star. Very versatile formula.

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SpudGunPyroBoy:

I really like that color. Seems like it'd make some great microstars in fountains (if they were coated in wax). How big were the stars you shot out of that mortar?

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Frkonaleash1010:

Sry if this is noobish but i never heard of coating microstars with wax..I have made micro stars with Granite mix before. Or using dragons eggs and none of them were coated with wax.

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SpudGunPyroBoy:

Coating with wax is to prevent the reaction between the chlorate in the stars and the sulfur in the BP. I need to do more research on it. You don't sound noobish at all. I was expecting people to question it.

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ColdWarr2000:

Random guess:
The wax prevents moister to come into contact with the sulfer preventing the sulfer from making acid and reacting with the chlorate.

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Poor Man:

A bit late huh? Spud explained it in the post jsut above yours...

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_Po_:

I just tried this. I used my homemade sodium contaminated KClO3, heated up some homemade copper carbonate for the CuO, filed some pipe and mixed it all together. I lit it and it burned with surprisingly good colour. It was reddy blue purpley with blue specs and VERY bright. No yellow from the sodium at all. It was great. I'm gonna make some more CuO and KClO3 and PVC and try making it into stars (I've only got tiny amounts of each).

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auzziepyro:

Hey I wonder if you substituted Zno with the Cuo would it produce green stars? anyone care to try it?

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al93535:

I found an extremely nice pure blue!! It was relatively bright and very blue. I will get a picture of it after my star here dries and I launch it, I will post it here. I only tried a loose pile so far, but it looks very nice. The comp adds to more then 100. Potassium perchlorate 60%, Any copper salt( I used copper chloride) 15%, Any chlorine donor ( I used saran resin) 15%, Hexamine 15% and sugar 4%. I may try without the sugar too. Will have a picture of the star here in the air within three days.

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al93535:

You pick out how much of the comp you wish to make, then take whatever percent of that chemical. And so you end up with 109% of the total weight you wanted.
But here it is in part:
PP 15 parts
sugar 1 part
Hexamine 3.75 parts
Cu salt 3.75 parts
chlorine donor 3.75 parts
+1 part dextrin

Edit: Percent that adds to 100
pp 55%
sugar 3%
cu salt 14%
chlorine donor 14%
Hexamine 14%

Better?

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rooster:

Hmmm... The hexamine might defeat some purpose. It enlarges the flame envelope, or the flames each star make. On the other side, it raises the burning temperature. The raise in flame temperature will make for a not-as-deep blue, but on the other side the stars will look much bigger when burning. Depending on what you are after, you might try using more sugar (or milk sugar, not as sticky) instead of the hexamine.

The chlorine donor will matter, I can tell you. Saran gives a very nice colour for blues since it burns, unlike parlon, which is actually a fire retardant.

Also, adding in 5-8% ammonium perchlorate might have a deepening effect on the colour, on the expense of some burning speed. If you add more AP than this, you will have to use much smaller stars in your shells/whatever, but will get a very nice colour.

BTW, does anyone know how calomel(Hg2Cl2) works with perchlorates? I know it works well with chlorates.

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al93535:

The Hexamine does not raise the temperature to high. Hexamine burns at just over 1200, and thus is a very good fuel for blue flames. And yes you are right it does spread the flame out, which I think is good. BTW, hexamine fuel tablets burn at 1400 degrees because of the extra wax added. I tried using just the sugar as fuel and it did not make as good a blue as when the hex was added. I don't have any ammonium perchlorate as of yet, but I will try your suggestion when I get some. I heard it does make the best blues. Any idea why though?

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#2 Rooster

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:48 AM

Crazy_Swede:

Hexamine is an excellent partial fuel for blue flames, mostly because of its very clean burning properties . It should be mixed with a more reactive fuel than sugar however; otherwise you might have problems with ignition and stars being blown blind in hard breaking shells!

By the way, 55% of potassium perchlorate seems a little low. Are you sure the burning speed is adequate for stars?

In my experience, Calomel does not compare to modern organic chlorine donors like PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or Saran (polyvinylidene chloride). Maybe, its higher density could be helpful for some formulations, but there is really no reason to use this old ingredient today!

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al93535:

Crazy swede, what other fuel would you reccomend? I am trying a star gun test of the star tonight. But the loose pile burned quite well.

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Frkonaleash1010:

Just look for other good known blue comps and base it off of that. Some are metallicaly fueled while others are organic. I find looking at other good comps a good base for making your own.

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Crazy_Swede:

Examples of more reactive fuels are Red Gum or Accaroides Resin, Shellac (must be powdered and free of sodium though!) and synthetic phenolic resins in powder form. The latter is the best in my opinion and is for example sold as Peracit by Perstorp Chemitec SA in France.

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THErAPIST:

Swede do you have much first hand experience with synthetic phenolic resins? I'm currently developing my own blue but I need soemthing with a very low burn temp to put inplace of sugar in my comp. The sugar acts as both fuel and binder. I was thinking of red gum, but if there's anything that would offer a lower temp I'd like to know. My blue comp is a bit odd in that it uses BaNO32 and Kclo4, and so it burns a bit hot and washes out easily with most fules/binders

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optimus:

I was passed some formulas a while back, containing Phenolic Aldehyde.

I think I've figured out that this is basically Bakelite resin, in powder form, but I'm stil struggling to find a source, or a potential replacement.

Any advice would be appreciated - the formulas looked intriguing.

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pyrohawk:

"My blue comp is a bit odd in that it uses BaNO32 and Kclo4, and so it burns a bit hot and washes out easily with most fules/binders"

BaNO32 I think you mean Ba(NO3)2 or we would know what you meant with just BaNO3... Otherwise thats 32 oxygens!! Plus its KClO4.

Didn't mean to nag....just thought I'd let you see what you did.... Sounds interesting about the star though!! I need a blue....

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Crazy_Swede:

THErAPIST,
Yes, I have used some grades from Perstorp for different applications. I doubt they would help you though as long as you use barium nitrate as an additional oxidizer. The barium nitrate will add light emission in the wrong part of the spectrum and depending on how well you have balanced the formula, it's also a great risk that it adds solid particles to the flame that will whas out the colour.

There are other ways of cooling a pyrotechnic flame. For example you could try to add small amounts, 0,5-2%, of paraffin wax or stearic acid!

You say you use sugar as a fuel and binder!? I really can't see how sugar would give the stars integrity enough and don't you have problems with drying the stars?

Rooster,
I'm still working on the info you asked me for, it's comming (some day or another )!

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THErAPIST:

Sorry, I guess I accidently let go of the shift button when I was typing KCLO4, And I dun know why but I didn't even think of putting the () in the Ba(NO3)2 heh sorry

I've balanced out the Oxidizer ratios quite well, and with the current formula I've got one of the deepest and most crisp blue's I've ever seen. The problem I'm having is that the stars go out quite easily, and they're pretty soft. I haven't had much problem drying the stars, but thats because I either heat the sugar to melt it and then I mix the other chems in with it quickly. It's either that or I use hot water to melt the sugar, and then after flattening out the star dough I set it on a rack thats over the hot coals from out fire pit thingie.

I've used charcoal in place of the sugar, and I've added some dextrin as binder. It washes out to a white this way, but it holds it's flame better. If I decrease the charcoal and add some sugar to it it gets more blueish. I haven't used parlon yet, but I've got lots of it so I may try that soon. Parlon is Kind of a turnoff though as it doesn't burn well.

I was thinking that maybe PVC would offer up the chlorine to make the color deeper, and possibly take up the place of the carbon in the sugar and such, but I dunno.I have no PVC powder at the moment which is why I haven't tested that yet.

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Crazy_Swede:

Parlon works best for hotter burning stars, especially if metal fuelled. Otherwise, as you have noticed, you often get burning problems since parlon actually is a flame retarder at lower temperatures!

Often, a mix of two different chlorine donors can make wonders for the combustion.

Show me your complete formula and I might be able to give you some more tips!

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rooster:

Crazy swede, what is in your opinion the best chlorine donor of saran and PVC? I have never seen any comparisons between these, though I have seen of PVC/Parlon and Saran/Parlon. I just seem to get the idea that saran is the ultimate chlorine donor; good burning properties, clean burning(right?), high chlorine content, and so on.

Looking forward to your PM! Thanks man.

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Crazy_Swede:

Believe it or not, but I still havenít been able to locate Saran in or outside Sweden. I've contacted The Dow Chemical Company but they seem to have problems with some kind of ethical policy, they refuse to sell directly to customers in "certain" niches! It's really strange since we asked them for several thousand of kilos per year!

So, my knowledge of Saran Resin is unfortunately only theoretical! But from what I've heard it's a lot better fuel compared to Parlon. For some reason, people tend to mix it 50/50 with PVC or Parlon and I guess this is because Saran Resin can't be used as a binder since it's practically insoluble in all common solvents.

To answer your question I guess Saran Resin would be the chlorine donor of choice if you use NC-lacquer or if you rely on a water-soluble binder for your composition.

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al93535:

I think that those of us who live in the USA should be able to help our fellow fourmites in other countires get ahold of chemicals that we have easy access to and they cannot get. Humm, Perhaps I should start a thread where those of us in the US willing to order, repack and ship can post and let others know. Then the ones who want to order can talk to them, send a money order or whatever, and get thier shipment of chems they would otherwise not be able to.

Would anyone be interested in doing this?

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pyrohawk:

I think you don't realize how much trouble that would be.... To legally do that we would need some major licensing! But if we just mailed it without telling anyone whats in the package....it would work... That is until someone in customs opens them up then you would be in ome major trouble for you and the person you're sening the chems to!!!

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al93535:

I am not talking about potassium perchlorate, or pyro aluminum. But chlorine donors, flitter to 325 mesh aluminum, or anything else hard to get for some people.

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Mumbles:

I will be the first to admit that this may be possible. From what I gather from my investigation into the legallities of shipping, anything that is not listed in the ORM-D table as being restricted or unshippable is 100% legal to ship anywhere, although overseas shipping is rather steep. Chlorine donors, Ferrotitanium and ferroaluminum, most binders, Copper Oxide* and carbonate, Iron Oxide*, rice hulls, Sodium Benzoate and Salicylate seem to be ok to me.

*- may be restricted under "oxidising solids"

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Chaz:

Getting a bit off topic but I'll just sneak this in, with my last order of Fuse, I had my mate add in 200g of Parlon and 200g of Red Gum, and some shell casings. We didnt bother changing any of the shipping labels or UN numbers, so I'm not quite sure what would have happened if customs had opened it up, but it arrived with me safe and sound. 7 weeks later.

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THErAPIST:

My composition as it stands at this moment with a parlon binder inplace of the sugar...

2g sugar
11g KClO4
4g Sulfur
2g parlon
5g CuCl
6g Ba(NO3)2

It takes fire easier, but the color isn't as deep, and it goes out easier.

The original formula was:
~7g KClO4
~6g Sugar
~6g CuCl
~4g Ba(NO3)2

It was harder to get it to take fire, but the color was deeper, and it did stay lit (sometimes) when I lit a big star of it and threw it into the air. On the ground it burns with a deeper blue that seems to fade into a violet. Try to get it to stay lit in the air though and you'll have problems though as you can see.

The CuCl I use I made myself. It may have an ammonium impurity in it, but I doubt it.
basicly, Cu+NH4(NO3)+HCl=
2Cu+2HCl-->2CuCl+H2 (or something like that anyway)

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alany:

A note on substuting KClO3 for KClO4:

If you want the oxygen balance to remain the same you must compensate for the lower oxygen density of KClO3. KClO4 is about 46.9% Oxygen, KClO3 is only 39.2% Oxygen. Therefore you should use 1.196 times as much.

In Chaz's original composition that means using 75 KClO3 instead of 63 KClO4.

Of course that adds a little more KCl to the flame which has a cooling effect, but I doubt that is very significant in a blue composition.

Also note that using Copper Oxide in Chlorate compositions is ill-advised. Copper ions sensitise Chlorates at the best of times, but metal oxides in particular have a catalytic effect on Chlorates. This is probably one reason for their good burn rate, once you increase their oxidation you may find them too reactive.

Copper Carbonate would be a safer Cu ion donor. 1.553 times more Copper Carbonate than Copper Oxide will supply the same amount of Copper, or 20 parts instead of 13. If you are using "Basic Copper Carbonate" use 1.591 times as much or about a half-part more than 20 parts. The extra waste CO2 and H2O will consume energy from the flame so increasing the oxidiser and fuel a little can compensate if the burn rate is affected too much.

As Chlorate cut stars with Copper in them they very probably don't require any priming at all.

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Mumbles:

All standard copper carbonate is "basic" to my knowledge. It has a hydroxide ion complexed with the crystal. The formation of pure copper carbonate is more trouble that it is worth, and will revert back to the basic form on contact with moisture, including the moisture in the air. Any copper carbonate used in pyro is no doubt of basic composition. I think unless it specifies non-basic it is assumed to be complexed.

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Chaz:

As I recently got the chemicals to produce the star using the original formula (apart from the KClO4) here's a direct comparison:



Can you tell which one is the original? It is infact the photo on the right, the one on the left is from a large blue starmine, using the modified stars. The second photo is from my recent 1.5" shell.

Maybe I just didnt prime these stars which follow the original formula well enough, because they seem harder to ignite than the ones in the modified formula. Anyhow, if you have the chemicals to make this star, I highly recommend it!

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pyrohawk:

Is ther any way to make Copper(II) Oxide at home?? I could order it if I wasn't so broke.....

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Mumbles:

Here:

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pyrohawk:

Thanks Mumbles!! Hate to ask to be spoonfed but I'll search also after typing this.... Wher can i find the Copper (II) Sulfate, either one of course!! Why arn't the photos working??

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Mumbles:

The photos are hosted at angelfire, and they don't allow hotlinking.

Copper sulfate can be had in 2 main places that I know of. It is sold as a root killer at most major hardware stores. It is by a company called Roebuck(or Roebic or something), and it comes in 2 pound containers. The container is white, about 1 L, and has a red cap. It says right on on Contents : Copper (II) Sulfate, Pentahydrate 99%. I personally got mine from a bigger hardware store, as something for a pond. It kills off vegitation of keeps it nice and blue. This stuff was 15 pound containers and about 1/4 the price per pound as the roebuck stuff.

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pyrohawk:

Ok I think I know wher I can get the Copper (II) sulfate but what about the NaOH?? All my searching brings up is that its caustic soda but no places I could buy it OTC!! so once again.....wher do i get it??

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#3 Rooster

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:52 AM

Frkonaleash1010:

Are you serious? You really dont know where to get NaOH aka lye aka caustic soda OTC? Ever hear of drain cleaners? Almost all of them are NaOH or the commercial ones are KOH. These are for indoor drain clogs. The ones made to go straight into cesspools are the sulfuric ones. One of the major brands are Drain-o. They even sell it in pure crystals.

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al93535:

If you want 100% lye, caustic soda, sodium hydroxide go to the super market. I got mine "red devil" brand the purest you can buy at stater brothers for 5 bucks. I have even seen it at the local liquor store. It is sold in the drain openers. Draino has impurities in it. Red devil is pure NaOH.

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Frkonaleash1010:

Anyway, Copper sulfate and NaOH has no place in the blue star thread. Make a thread in general chem for this stuff.

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pyrohawk:

Actualy it does have a reason for being in this thread since I need the Copper (II) Oxide in order to make these stars!! But we did get a bit off topic so I got what I need to do it now.....

Oh and I found that NaOH right after I posted it

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dragonman586:

Hey guys I kind of had a noobish question. For chaz's Modified comp can I use KClO4 instead of KClO3?

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Chaz:

Sure, I doubt that'll make any difference to the colour at all.

EDIT: Ooh 600th post.

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dragonman586:

Chaz is there anything i can substitute for the pvc. Because i really don't feel like sigining up for skylighter for it. also if i use kclo4 like i mentioned above would the sulfur in bp be a problem.

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blackmatch:

Go to www.unitednuclear.com and get some. It's kind of pricy but you don't need i.d., just signed HHA.

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Bongermann:

The sulfur in the BP won't be a problem with the KClO4, I've actually used mixtures with sulfur/KClO4/Charcoal and had no problems. I think Frk had something on this?

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Frkonaleash1010:

Yes I do have some experience here. Takeo Shimizu's comp KP. Is a mixture of KClO4/Charcoal/Sulfur. Basically a perchlorate based BP. It can be wetted and granulated or just stored dry. It can be grinded in a coffee grinder without problem as well. So It is in this way I find no problem with perchlorates and sulfur.

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Mumbles:

Saran, parlon, Hexachlorobenzene, and hexachloroethane are all substitutes for PVC. PVC is actually probably the easiest to get though. I suppose you could try a cheap clean form of saran wrap. Melt it into a goo with Acetone and kneed it into your comp. It will work best if your binder is also acetone activated. Otherwise after you work it in you will have to powder it again and activate the binder.

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Dragonman586:

thanks much fellas.
If I were to use dextrine as a binder would it be ok if I added water during the kneading process or do I have to powder the entire thing again as Mumbles suggested?

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PyroJoe:

I made a 300g batch of the original blue star formula a couple weeks ago. I used red gun and pvc in the formula, they are half inch cut stars and I primed them with a thin layer of just plain black powder. Whenever I shoot them out of my star gun they don't ignite till they reach their highes point. Then once they start burning they fall to the ground and burn on the ground for a couple seconds. I was wondering what kind of prime would be best for these stars, maybe black powder with added aluminum or iron oxide? Any help would be great.

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What am I doing? I'm talking to an empty telephone. Cause there's a dead man on the other end of this fuckin' line.

#4 Pretty green flame

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 11:30 AM

What size should the stars be for a 4" round? It's the original formula:

Potassium Perchlorate.............................63
Copper(II)Oxide................... ................13
Red gum (powdered).....................10
Parlon.....................................14

Also, what's the solvent for these? Alcohol, MEK or Water (If/should? I add 4% Dextrin)?
Prime? Greenmix or something hotter?

Thanks
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#5 TheSidewinder

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 05:06 PM

Uhh... PGF, you DO realize this was a 2-1/2 year old thread, don't you?
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#6 Pretty green flame

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 10:50 PM

Uhh... PGF, you DO realize this was a 2-1/2 year old thread, don't you?


Sure do, but I was always told to search before asking and not to open threads for already existing topics....
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#7 Mumbles

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 11:12 PM

Having never made that formula, I'd say 3/8" stars using any of the aformentioned organic solvents to bind. Actually Acetone or MEK may be best as they would activate both the redgum and parlon. As far as priming, hard to say. I'd say a greenmeal with some metal in it should be good. When in doubt always overprime.
Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

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#8 Pretty green flame

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 07:24 AM

Thanks for your help Mumbles

When in doubt always overprime.


Good advice there
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#9 TheSidewinder

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 12:12 AM

Sure do, but I was always told to search before asking and not to open threads for already existing topics....


You have a point there. ;)
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