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Flash powder safety


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#41 50AE

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 03:08 PM

I think you will just complicate things. There's nothing wrong to

1. Spray your place with anti static solution.
2. Prepare a newspaper sheet
3. Pour your screened chemicals on it and diaper them several times.
4. Pour your mixed flash powder in a cardboard container and begin your job.

I think static can be the most backstabbing danger in this. Watch the humidity and spray with anti static.

Perchlorate and chlorate flashes are much more friction sensitive than the nitrate 5:3:2. Great care should be exerced while working with them. I think that the nitrate 5:3:2 flash is very little sensitive compared to the others above. I haven't done hammer tests with KNO3:MgAl though.

#42 dagabu

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 04:17 PM

Nitrate 5:3:2 flash isn't really flash at all, it is commonly referred to as slow flash but is about 1/4th as sensitive as pot perc and Al.
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#43 Mumbles

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 06:24 PM

Would you mind explaining sensitive how Dave? It can be sensitive to impact, friction, static, etc. Different things are sensitive in different ways. Chlorate and sulfur is particularly sensitive to impact, where as chlorate and antimony trisulfide is particularly sensitive to friction for instance.

In all honesty, the worst thing you can do is to get comfortable. It doesn't matter if one mix is slightly safer than another, treat it as if it can go off at any time.


Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

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#44 dagabu

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 07:46 PM

If you have the best of AFN (four?), you will find a table showing you a list of hammer tests done to all sorts of comps with slow flash coming in at the bottom of the list. Anyone can widen the parameters out enough to claim anything they want, I am specifying impact as the empirical test for sensitivity as has every test I have seen for any flash composition.

"In all honesty, the worst thing you can do is to get comfortable. It doesn't matter if one mix is slightly safer than another, treat it as if it can go off at any time. "

I completely agree with your statement, 10 grams of BP under a 2" shell will punch a hole through your skull too.
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#45 Mumbles

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:47 PM

Let me know if you can figure out where it was from. I took a look and didn't see anything relating to slow flash in relation to hammer tests in AFN 2-5. I don't doubt that slow flash is less sensitive. KNO3 isn't nearly as sensitive to sulfur or aluminum as potassium chlorate or perchlorate are.

I'll see if I can find my copy of Principles of Pyrotechnics, I bet it has something like it in it. I got some chlorate data from it for a talk I gave at the WPAG last year.
Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

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#46 Ventsi

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:43 PM

Well guys, keep in mind that impact is a pretty rare thing to happen in a shop. Unless you dropped a bunch of FP and then something on that....
On the other hand, I would love to see some friction and heat sensitivity tests done. Those apply MUCH more when mixing and handling.
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#47 50AE

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:56 AM

Well, the 5:3:2 can be interpreted as an aluminum streamer. I do like the mix 5 KNO3 3 Al 2 S, it makes beautiful and cheap stars.

As for the real thing, I prepare KClO3 / Bright Al 7:3. Great care should be exerced with this one. The stearin on the Al makes the mix fluffy and greasy, it greatly reduces the friction, but still. Watch for static.

Mumbles, when you say "not to get comfortable", I agree at some point.
-You have to be concentrated and work with caution and great care. Watch out for every detail.
-But you don't have to be nervous and have your hair become white so soon.

Edited by 50AE, 19 May 2010 - 02:01 AM.


#48 dagabu

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:31 AM

Well guys, keep in mind that impact is a pretty rare thing to happen in a shop. Unless you dropped a bunch of FP and then something on that....
On the other hand, I would love to see some friction and heat sensitivity tests done. Those apply MUCH more when mixing and handling.


Two incidents from last winter that I had the make me disagree with you.
-I was pressing my hybrid rockets and I spilled some fuel on the table, I used a cotton rag to wipe it up and pushed the pile into a burn bucket (everyone should have a burn bucket). Apparently, I missed with some of the fuel and it ended up on the floor on concrete. Later, I dropped the long rammer (Aluminum) and when it hit the ground, it popped and I got a tiny wisp of smoke.
-I was sweeping my shop floor in March after working on a bunch of headings and I ended up with a pile of debris that I swept out the door to pick up with dust pan, the wind picked up and the top of the pile was blown away leaving only the powder on the concrete. There wasn't enough to sweep up so I left it and when I left for the night and locked up, I had to turn to key lock the bolt and spun on my toe and lit the pile off just by friction. No explosion, no fire, little smoke, more of a crackling sound.

I don't know what the powder make up was, I don't know much except it happened twice and I have changed my shop habits because of it.
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#49 x77

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 07:12 AM

I think you will just complicate things. There's nothing wrong to

1. Spray your place with anti static solution.
2. Prepare a newspaper sheet
3. Pour your screened chemicals on it and diaper them several times.
4. Pour your mixed flash powder in a cardboard container and begin your job.

I think static can be the most backstabbing danger in this. Watch the humidity and spray with anti static.

Perchlorate and chlorate flashes are much more friction sensitive than the nitrate 5:3:2. Great care should be exerced while working with them. I think that the nitrate 5:3:2 flash is very little sensitive compared to the others above. I haven't done hammer tests with KNO3:MgAl though.


Would it complicate things by making the process less safe? Would the end result work or would it most likely not mix properly?

#50 Dystrophy

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:50 AM

Would it complicate things by making the process less safe? Would the end result work or would it most likely not mix properly?



Assuming you're talking about the static anti-spray, I'd say you'd be better off grounding yourself if you're worried about it. Its as simple as a metal wire and metal clip attached to a pipe or ground wire. If you're in a humid environment its less of an issue though if you're currently in the southern hemisphere or you tend to drag your feet, maybe it would be a good precaution.

#51 x77

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 11:32 AM

Assuming you're talking about the static anti-spray, I'd say you'd be better off grounding yourself if you're worried about it. Its as simple as a metal wire and metal clip attached to a pipe or ground wire. If you're in a humid environment its less of an issue though if you're currently in the southern hemisphere or you tend to drag your feet, maybe it would be a good precaution.


I meant with the motor / timer setup and mixing it inside of the tube.

#52 al93535

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 10:11 PM

If grounding yourself via a connection to ground its advisable to use a resistor. If you are grounded and your composition or anything else has picked up a static charge it will be much more attracted to you!!!

A general rule I have heard, and tend to agree with is: "either ground everything, or nothing at all".

Anti-static spray is cheap, and it is very effective.... use it.
The more I learn, the more I know I don't know.

#53 thankful

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 05:09 PM

Virzla,

Let me take a page right from Passfire in dealing with the same subject earlier today. This is from Ned Gorski, one of the most respected names in amateur pyrotechnics today:

"what is the strongest and safest flash to make
Jeff


Jeff, sort of like "military intelligence" or "jumbo shrimp", you've come up a somewhat self-contradictory mixture of notions,,an oxymoron.
The "strongest" flash would more than likely be one of the more dangerous to make.
The "safest" flash would more than likely be pretty weak.

And, in fact, you've asked about a pyro mixture which is itself a contradiction in terms: flash powder is about the simplest and easiest of fireworks creations, being only a simple dry mixture of chemicals. And flash is about the most powerful and most dangerous of the common fireworks mixtures some of us work with.
More than a few of us still steer clear of working with it, it can make folks so nervous to work with.
Flash powder can ruin your life in an instant.

And, you do not need flash powder to dabble creatively in the pyrotechnic arts, although for many of us, salutes and flash powder are some of the first things we are drawn to, and interested in learning about.

So, it would be hypocritical of us to 'judge' you for asking your question, but knowing what we know, it would be irresponsible to answer you completely honestly.

You've walked up to a bunch of creative fireworks hobbyists, for whom flash is a mildly interesting addition to some pyro devices, but also for whom the more creative and scientific and artistic aspects of this art call our name much louder.

You've walked up and asked this group the One question many young, curious, but not very pyro-educated, and perhaps even irresponsible, kids, who are sometimes referred to as Kewl-Bomerz, would ask. It might be one of the first questions many of us would have asked once upon a time, though, so you Might be worth a bit of indulgence.

In this group, it would be considered completely irresponsible to answer your question completely honestly, but it might also be irresponsible to send you on your way with a somewhat hypocritical, gruff, rebuff. That might just send you looking somewhere else, only to get into trouble. There's a huge amount of bad info out there on the internet and elsewhere.

So here goes. You might consider, if you are truly curious about this fireworks art, strolling up and listening for a bit.. Maybe asking a few curious and respectful qustions. You Might be worth some respectful answers. We don't know that, though, so we'd be careful with you.

There is no safe flash powder. If you hear of any formulas which use chlorate, avoid them. If you hear of formulas which have more than two ingredients in a ratio of about 7/3, avoid them. Don't mix anything you don't definitely have some good info on. Don't do anything that someone you respect hasn't OK'd, and coached you on. There are relatively less-dangerous flash powders, and ones which can go off if you rub them the wrong way. There are ways to mix flash which are relatively less dangerous, and ways to mix it which are pretty much guaranteed to risk setting it off.

And in the end, flash is about the most powerful, most dangerous, easiest to make, easiest to get into trouble with, most on the edge of the law, most impressive at a gut level, least impressive on an artistic level, stuff in pyro.

If this scares you out of here, that's good.
If this invites you in here with the right attitude, good.
Mostly don't do anything you don't really know much about, don't hurt yourself, don't ask us to violate principles which we consider to be very important, and don't cast a bad light on an art which is tough enough to maintain in our society as it is..

Maybe more of an answer than you bargained for,,maybe just the one you need.
ned"



Well as you my name says Im thankful I came across this site. Im a "newby" as you guys call them. I started making m-80 with flash just two weeks ago. My neighbor shot off a couple and I asked him where he got them and he would'nt teel me. So I googled "M-80's" and wow was I surprised at all the info out there, most is crap but there are some saftey minded ones. And as far as Im concerned youtube should be shut down! Too many idiot kids on there with their "How To" videos. I can only imagine how many kids have been injured very badly or even killed for doing something they saw there. I did obtain potassium perchlorate and aluminum and I was surprised how easy it was. I made about 10 of them always mixing small 10g batches at a time. I was scared at first but after making a few I thought well I must be doing it right. Then I found this site and started reading what all you guys were saying about FP. It scared the crap out of me and I immedietly flushed everything I had down the toilet. Im never going to make FP again. This will be my one and only post so I just wanted to say thank you all for probably saving my life!

#54 handymanherb

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 08:51 PM

I'm calling Bravo Sierra on the last post

#55 dagabu

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 09:02 PM

Thanks for the memories Herb.

I had a Lt that had no idea what that meant so while sitting in the middle of Sal Man Pak watching for the Republican Guard to rumble by our site, I whispered to my spotter, Lima, tango, alpha, foxtrot, uniform, charlie, kilo, indigo, November, golf, bravo sierra.

The Lt told us to shut up and after we lit up the convoy for the A-6's, he asked me what we we talking about and we told him to tell the CO that it was his new nick name.

I did a 48 in the brig for that one.
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#56 Ventsi

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 10:44 AM

Posted Image
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
- Albert Einstein

#57 handymanherb

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 08:49 PM

OK let see a show of hands, how many people knew how to made flash long before joining here.

I seen it many times on you tube, there was one I seen that walked you through making M-80 down to where to buy what from who that won't throw red flags.

That one was pulled, but there is still many showing how to make flash!

But come on you got to start some where, and starting with making black powder with all the equipment you need to get started, kind of holds you back.

So the first thing I made smoke bombs the second was e-matches using flash to fire the 1.4's we use at our family reunion, I fired 24 cakes and only had two matches not fire, that was it was our first time using them and didn't have them just right.

I want to start making some shells, I just need to figure out which one's I can build easy and go from there, family says lets get the licence and just buy 1.3's, I still like to make a few good ones to finish up with so I can say HEY I did that!!!

Edited by handymanherb, 07 August 2010 - 08:51 PM.


#58 KuzkinaMat

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:25 PM

Frankly, what you just said is perhaps one of the stupidest things I've heard someone ever do with energetic materials. Perhaps the only person to out beat you is Phone, but he's paid his price.


Was Phone the guy they talked about over on ShadowRX who made 2kg of TATP before getting blown away by only 20g of it? Or am I getting him confused with some totse moron?

#59 Blackthumb

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:40 AM

Some of the best info on using/making flash I have seen......newbies listen and learn from the pros in this forum....best part about working with pyro compounds for many years is to still see, hear and have all your fingers to be able to scratch your own ass.

"I split the heavens with the thunder of man..

I vanquish the night with the stars of my hand."

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#60 xtr55

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 09:13 AM

after a salute is built and is good to go, how sensitive is it? Is static still a major concern once it has been mixed, put into a casing, and closed up?




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