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Flash powder safety


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#21 Ralph

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 08:36 PM

I really don't see what all the hoopla about using dark aluminum is. Indian and 5143H are both fairly expensive and all they do is make things more sensitive. I use Crackers Bright Aluminum. Its supposedly 12micron/1200mesh which I find hard to believe but it makes some excellent flash. Its way cheaper, not as sensitive and not as sharp when used for a booster.


personally I use dark because its cheaper (for me strangely) but also because it gives less of a flash making it in my opinion better for boosting but thats just me
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#22 50AE

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 02:13 AM

Here, the Bright grade aluminium is very cheap. Let's say I can get it for 6 euros per kg. German dark is unavaible and purchasing it online is at least 4x expensive.
This bright Al works good for flash, probably not the best, but does the job. It doesn't "thump" when lit in the open.
The only thing I don't like about it is the Al itself, it's a dirty job to work with it.

#23 Bonny

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 10:36 PM

Here, the Bright grade aluminium is very cheap. Let's say I can get it for 6 euros per kg. German dark is unavaible and purchasing it online is at least 4x expensive.
This bright Al works good for flash, probably not the best, but does the job. It doesn't "thump" when lit in the open.
The only thing I don't like about it is the Al itself, it's a dirty job to work with it.


I know what you mean. I hated Bright Al flake so much, I traded it all to another pyro. Although some formulas really need it, I would rather do without. I couldn't stand opening a bag and just watching the mess take to the air.

#24 Vrizla

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 06:34 PM

Thank you FreakyDuchman and Vensti for bringing this thread back to my original question, but is there any technical documentation to back up that 5413 h makes flash more sensitive then other aluminum. And I forget who commented on Indian blackhead correct me if im wrong but isn't that a variable product not held to any standard, just a generic name for off brand dark aluminum. And can anyone verify that 12 micron bright aluminum is more stable in flash then 5413 h. And before anyone is tempted to post a there is no safe flash post, YES i KNOW THIS. I have been involved in this hobby for three years, started off with very basic projects, have read many of Ned G's artical's made every almost every trurbo pyro project and practiced every possible safety precaution. Now let me also add you know what scares me more then flash is pressing whistle mix, certain star compositions, and the thing that scares me the most, playing with chlorate

I understand I'm new to the forum and people are trying to keep me safe. I appreciate that thank you. But the reason I posted this is to learn more about 5413 h's and it's use in flash and if there is a better aluminum to use.

Edited by Vrizla, 21 March 2010 - 06:55 PM.

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#25 Miech

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 06:57 PM

Well, sensitivity depends on a couple of factors. The easier the aluminium ignites, the more sensitive. In general this means the following:
-smaller particle sizes give more sensitive flash.
-flake aluminium is more sensitive than atomized, and atomized is more sensitive than spherical.
-uncoated aluminium is more sensitive than coated aluminium.
-additives always make flash more sensitive, except for flame retarding and gap filling chemicals.

With 5413H being of a very high mesh, and being flake shaped, this will produce a powder which I would expect to be pretty sensitive. However, an uncoated aluminium of half the mesh but without coating (such as Black000) will preduce an even more sensitive mixture, because the aluminium burns more easily. Flash powders made with bright aluminium are unlikely to cause accidents easily (which is no reason to treath it disrespectful), and powders made with #400 spherical aluminium will hardly burn without addition of sulfur.

Being a chemist I'm not afraid of chlorates and using them, but I'm not ignorant either. When taking the proper precautions and having the right knowledge, potassium chlorate is one of the best oxidizers and chlorine donors around.
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#26 dagabu

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 08:54 PM

Vrizla,

5413 H Super has long been known as the king of flash, it is not so finely divided that it causes and specific risk to spontaneous ignition nor does it retard the sensitivity to flame due to too large of a particle size. You seem to be a little hesitant about it so I guess I just have to ask. Do you have some 5413 and are hesitant to mix it?

There are much worse things to make flash from and 5413 is one of the widest regarded Aluminum for it's nice sharp crack! Please share the basis for your question, we seem to be bouncing around here and getting nowhere so just come clean, we can take it. ;)

D

Edited by dagabu, 21 March 2010 - 09:00 PM.

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#27 Ralph

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 09:01 PM

-additives always make flash more sensitive, except for flame retarding and gap filling chemicals.


charcoal is not a flame retarding chemical adding it will not increase sensitivity

With 5413H being of a very high mesh, and being flake shaped, this will produce a powder which I would expect to be pretty sensitive. However, an uncoated aluminium of half the mesh but without coating (such as Black000) will preduce an even more sensitive mixture, because the aluminium burns more easily.


Dark aluminium's have much of their sterin coating removed and (at least in Australia) are classified as uncoated


Being a chemist I'm not afraid of chlorates and using them, but I'm not ignorant either. When taking the proper precautions and having the right knowledge, potassium chlorate is one of the best oxidizers and chlorine donors around.


got to love chlorate such a lovely chemical
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#28 Mumbles

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:06 PM

The classifications are done by the UN. Just because someone is shipping it incorrectly, doesn't mean that it's classified differently. If you look at the drum, I'm sure it will say UN 1309, which is the shipping code for coated aluminum.
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#29 TheSidewinder

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:12 AM

Now there's an odd UN Number.... :whistle:
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#30 Arthur

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 02:16 AM

There is no such thing as SAFE flash, from two perspectives;

1/ Flash annoys the neighbours then they complain to the authorities

2/ Flash by definition releases a lot of energy instantly.

There are several different uses for several different types of flash, slow flash will make a bright light ans little sound fast flash will use finer and darker aluminium and make bang and flash, the fastest flash will possibly explode at greater than the speed of sound make much noise and less light.
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#31 Vrizla

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 02:32 AM

Dagabu, yes last year I purchased 5413 planning to use it in place of black powder for the report charge in certain items. I love those triple report rockets. However I decided that I wasn't ready last year and continued to practice with turbo pyro and other basic items. So I spent I summer in the shop and a winter reading on the web and found information sugesting that 5413 is less stable in flash then other aluminum, and when your mixing single digit micron aluminum in 70/30 flash you are really putting yourself at risk , that is more then larger micron aluminum. So I decided to ask some experienced pyro enthusiasts if there is any truth in this.
Vrizla

#32 dagabu

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 02:25 PM

I am not suggesting anything here so all of you safety fanboys can stay off my rear please.

I have seen 5413 flash with the addition of sulfur screen mixed on national TV for commercial manufacture with no problems and I have seen Mg and Chlorate flash 3" salutes that made it to 400' without flower potting.

I personally am cautious about all flash, it makes no difference to me what materials are used, it will leave you with a stump if it goes off. I try really hard to binary mix when ever I can. At PGI, you have to mix that way, on club shoots I mix that way, for cap plugs and inserts, I make no more then the contents of one shell per mixing and burn the rest (never in a pile) at the end of the day.

Diaper mixing is probably the safest method if using paper only, no butchers paper. If it goes off, you will have a bunch of problems but you should still have your hands. If you put a face shield on, you will still have your face and skin and if you wear shades, you may still have corneas.

I have to look but I think I have maybe 10 types of finely divided aluminum and all are useful but the 5413 H Super is my favorite for reports hands down.

With all of that said, you will get very nice reports with BP and Ti in a tightly confined package and you could drive across it all day and it wont go off, so if you are nervous, try some metals in you BP and spike it with layers of hemp or filament tape.

Danny posted a video of his BP and 5413 mix here. BTW, these are little tiny 1 gram inserts, I sold him the fuse and the cap plugs.

http://www.wichitabu.../bpinserts1.wmv

D
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#33 Vrizla

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 06:19 PM

I'm just trying to gather all the information I can. Like I said I treat this hobby with respect. Why no butchers paper. Someone said don't worry about the paper (I know everyone isn't an expert) I was planing on using a cut up brown paper bag. Was also thinking about newspaper or large sheets of parchmant paper that I have. However the parchmant is quilon coated not sure if thats good was going to look into that. Thats a really nice piece danny made.
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#34 dagabu

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 06:33 PM

Good question, some butchers paper is plastic coated and can build static. I only had butcher paper the first time I diapered flash and it stuck to the paper and wouldn't pile up. The light bulb came on in my mind and I simple brought it out to the road and lit the paper on fire and got rid of it.

I didn't touch flash for quite a while after and seldom mix metals without remembering the Al standing on edge on the paper.

D
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#35 Vrizla

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 05:18 PM

Well I made my first few batches of 70/30 and they preformed great as my rocket header. I still want to make a triple report, but first I have another safety question. I measured the headers by volume, but I like to be scientific with things and record exact amount. Especially when involved in more complex projects. So my question is: Is it safe to measure flash on a battery powered pocket scale using a paper cup as a container.
Vrizla

#36 FrankRizzo

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 05:47 PM

Well I made my first few batches of 70/30 and they preformed great as my rocket header. I still want to make a triple report, but first I have another safety question. I measured the headers by volume, but I like to be scientific with things and record exact amount. Especially when involved in more complex projects. So my question is: Is it safe to measure flash on a battery powered pocket scale using a paper cup as a container.


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#37 x77

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:08 AM

Would this procedure be safest?

Fill salute with KCLO4 and AL in layers. that is don't mix it. Allow the powders to sit on one another.
Finish building the salute.
Place in anti static bag.
Attach bag to a low rpm motor and timer arrangement.
Using the programmable timer, wait 1 min after power on, rotate for 2 hours, then turn off.
Theoretically would then be left with a constructed unit, with a mixed composition inside, and stored in an antistatic bag. No mixing was done by hand and no construction took place with mixed powder.

Edited by x77, 17 May 2010 - 11:36 AM.


#38 Mumbles

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:21 AM

Except for using potassium chlorate it sounds reasonable to me.

That being said I'd never go through the hassle. It sounds more on the order of production batches than amateur manufacture. If you're careful, you can safely work with it. The issue comes in where people are trying to run before they can walk and want to make flash right away, or try out some "recipes" they found on the internet.
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#39 x77

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:34 AM

Except for using potassium chlorate it sounds reasonable to me.

That being said I'd never go through the hassle. It sounds more on the order of production batches than amateur manufacture. If you're careful, you can safely work with it. The issue comes in where people are trying to run before they can walk and want to make flash right away, or try out some "recipes" they found on the internet.


i am sorry, I meant KCLO4, perchlorate. IS perchlorate much safer to mix where this setup would be a waste of time?

Edited by x77, 18 May 2010 - 06:20 AM.


#40 x77

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 06:20 AM

i am sorry, I meant KCLO4, perchlorate. IS perchlorate much safer to mix where this setup would be a waste of time?


regardless, I wouldn't try this. I just couldn't help but think about the safety issue involved. Thee always has to be a solution.

Edited by x77, 18 May 2010 - 06:21 AM.





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