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Dragon Eggs (Dragon Flowers)


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#1 BJV

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:23 PM

Hi All,

The way this thread is going maybe I should
make it OFF TOPIC??

My question has anyone made Dragon Flowers??
I have made 4 different batches. They all seem
to work very well. As dry as it is here I have not
shot any in the air yet, all ground tests.
What I would like to know is how much of the spark composition
do you add?? I have been putting about 2 to 3 mm. It seems to
give a nice Dandelion ball effect.
Any input would be very helpful.
Thanks
BJV
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#2 BJV

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:17 AM

A little follow-up



Name of composition:Crackling Flowers (Dragon Flower Cores)
Composition Type: Round Star Core
Creator: Original Source Harold Plumber and adapted for round stars cores by BJV.

Color/Effect: Silver Dandelion Ball

The Composition:

Dragon Flower Core

70g Lead Tetra Oxide
12.5g Copper Oxide (Black)
12.5g Mag/Al 200mesh
5g Atomized Al (625mesh)

Dragon Flower Prime

70g Potassium perchlorate
12g Red Gum
5g Potassium Dichromate
3g Magnalium (200 mesh)
10g Silicon powder (200 mesh)

Spark Composition

34g Potassium nitrate
6g Sulphur
5g Antimony trisulphide
15g Pine Charcoal
30g Titanium (60mesh)
20g Red Gum

All of the above are bound with NC Lacquer

Any Precautions/Incompatibilities:

The above comps. contain:

Lead Tetra Oxide
Antimony trisulphide
Potassium Dichromate
To mix and Roll these formulas you will need
to wear a respirator and rubber gloves.

Procedure/Preparation:
Below are photo of the steps I took to roll
these Dragon Flower cores. These cores can also
be primed with BP and used for rocket headers ect.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Here is alink to one of the pea sized stars in
action. Sorry the video is not the best.
BJV
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#3 Mumbles

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:39 AM

I've always been a little reluctant to post this, hoping to save it until I could actually try it out, but I suppose most of the details are out. The details about these are published in the Proceedings of the 8th Annual International Symposium on Fireworks. It was actually originally published on the internet here at APC several years ago by a member named "Crazy_Swede" as far as I can tell.

The only difference between what you did and he posted is the in the smoulder comp. He specified 20 parts Ti not 30. Also he mentioned flake worked the best. Maybe it's less likely to fly away.






"The other, more possible candidate, is a star of Chinese origin. I'm afraid I don't know it's name, but I know how it is produced. The effect from a shell burst containing these stars is first only very dim tails. Then all stars simultaneously burst into a little flower, each one looking just like a fluffy Dandelion flower after its bloom.

To make this star you must have crackling microstars, black powder ingredients and titanium flakes.

First of all, the stars must be rolled! The core is made from a good crackling microstar. The outer layer is made from a smouldering composition containing titanium flakes and I guess they are finished with ordinary bp prime.

The secret of success is to prepare the smouldering composition in such a way that it creates a glowing melt that protects the Ti flakes from reacting with the atmospheric oxygen. When the heat from the melt ignites the crackling core, the molten star bursts and the hot Ti flakes ignites in the air, creating the Dandelion ball.

I have no specific formulas for this type of effect, but I do know that smouldering compositions are easily made from overloading glitter compositions with sulfur!"

Since then, I have met and spoke to a Japanese pyrotechnist who explained the effect in more detail:

The Japanese call them Crackling Flower Stars to distinguish them from ordinary Crackling Stars.

The star contains a crackling star core made from either a traditional lead based composition:

46 Lead Tetroxide
16 Lead Dioxide
16 Copper oxide
22 Magnalium (200 mesh)

or a bismuth based composition:

30 Bismuth Oxide
40 Copper Oxide
30 Magnalium

In both cases the crackling core compositions are wetted with NC lacquer and granulated through a 8 mesh sieve twice. After drying the bigger granules are separated from the finer on a 10 mesh sieve and the result should be granules about 2-2.5 mm.

The cores are then coated with a special prime:

70 Potassium perchlorate
12 Red Gum
5 Potassium Dichromate
3 Magnalium (200 mesh)
10 Silicon powder (200 mesh)

A titanium spark composition is then added by rolling the crackling cores with the following composition (NC lacquer is used as binding system):

34 Potassium nitrate
6 Sulphur
5 Antimony trisulphide
15 Pine Charcoal
20 Titanium
20 Resin

The resin was not specified but I guess it is red gum or some synthetic resin of phenolic kind.

Everything above was published in the proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Fireworks!

Edit:
I forgot to add that Mr. Sashimura believed that substituting the Ti for coarse MgAl could produce an even better and louder effect since coarse particles of MgAl burn with a crackling noice of their own!
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Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

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#4 angelluis

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 12:27 PM

I've always been a little reluctant to post this, hoping to save it until I could actually try it out, but I suppose most of the details are out. The details about these are published in the Proceedings of the 8th Annual International Symposium on Fireworks. It was actually originally published on the internet here at APC several years ago by a member named "Crazy_Swede" as far as I can tell.

The only difference between what you did and he posted is the in the smoulder comp. He specified 20 parts Ti not 30. Also he mentioned flake worked the best. Maybe it's less likely to fly away.






"The other, more possible candidate, is a star of Chinese origin. I'm afraid I don't know it's name, but I know how it is produced. The effect from a shell burst containing these stars is first only very dim tails. Then all stars simultaneously burst into a little flower, each one looking just like a fluffy Dandelion flower after its bloom.

To make this star you must have crackling microstars, black powder ingredients and titanium flakes.

First of all, the stars must be rolled! The core is made from a good crackling microstar. The outer layer is made from a smouldering composition containing titanium flakes and I guess they are finished with ordinary bp prime.

The secret of success is to prepare the smouldering composition in such a way that it creates a glowing melt that protects the Ti flakes from reacting with the atmospheric oxygen. When the heat from the melt ignites the crackling core, the molten star bursts and the hot Ti flakes ignites in the air, creating the Dandelion ball.

I have no specific formulas for this type of effect, but I do know that smouldering compositions are easily made from overloading glitter compositions with sulfur!"

Since then, I have met and spoke to a Japanese pyrotechnist who explained the effect in more detail:

The Japanese call them Crackling Flower Stars to distinguish them from ordinary Crackling Stars.

The star contains a crackling star core made from either a traditional lead based composition:

46 Lead Tetroxide
16 Lead Dioxide
16 Copper oxide
22 Magnalium (200 mesh)

or a bismuth based composition:

30 Bismuth Oxide
40 Copper Oxide
30 Magnalium

In both cases the crackling core compositions are wetted with NC lacquer and granulated through a 8 mesh sieve twice. After drying the bigger granules are separated from the finer on a 10 mesh sieve and the result should be granules about 2-2.5 mm.

The cores are then coated with a special prime:

70 Potassium perchlorate
12 Red Gum
5 Potassium Dichromate
3 Magnalium (200 mesh)
10 Silicon powder (200 mesh)

A titanium spark composition is then added by rolling the crackling cores with the following composition (NC lacquer is used as binding system):

34 Potassium nitrate
6 Sulphur
5 Antimony trisulphide
15 Pine Charcoal
20 Titanium
20 Resin

The resin was not specified but I guess it is red gum or some synthetic resin of phenolic kind.

Everything above was published in the proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Fireworks!

Edit:
I forgot to add that Mr. Sashimura believed that substituting the Ti for coarse MgAl could produce an even better and louder effect since coarse particles of MgAl burn with a crackling noice of their own!


It is amazing how much experience some of you pyrothecnians have ! I mean someone starts to talk about a comp and right away you what they are talking about , that in my eyes is professional! I one day will be like this with alot of reading and absorbing knowledge lol . Good to have people like you and a few others with knowledge to help us new guys out !!Posted Image
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#5 ausgoty

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:38 PM

So how do you roll with NC lacquer? I imagine it would be impossible to spray.

Maybe mix a little of the comp up then add dry powder while it is rolling?

Sorry if its a silly question.



#6 Mumbles

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 04:42 PM

You roll with NC lacquer by using a thinned NC solution for the spray, down to around 2-3%. You could probably also use a toro type method. I've done that before too in a pinch for priming.
Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

The sky is my canvas, and I have 2,113 pounds of powdered paint in the workshop.

#7 BJV

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 04:46 PM

So how do you roll with NC lacquer? I imagine it would be impossible to spray.

Maybe mix a little of the comp up then add dry powder while it is rolling?

Sorry if its a silly question.



I have no problems using NC lacquer, just
thin it enough to atomize through a small
sprayer like the one in the photo below. I bought
at our local craft store.
BJV
Posted Image
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#8 Peret

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 01:39 AM

I tried making some of these this summer, but I didn't make the dragon's eggs, since I can buy them for about $6 a pound in the naif and lame section of a firework store (and I get a gross of plastic cherry cases thrown in). I put a D1 glitter on them and shot one shell to test. The effect was interesting, the cores ignited while the glitter was still burning so they looked a bit like tiny crossettes.

#9 Karlos

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:52 AM

Mumbles: Thank you for information. Do you thing, that main crackling core in japanese and chinese stars, is only granules, made by sieve wet method? Grains from sieve granulation proces are often oblong, and porous. What about additional coating to small 2 - 3 mm balls?
On the japanese or chinese videos, crackling cores create really strong round spark effect, like small flower, small shell. Prime composition and following BP type composition are not too important, like main egg core. I did not see simmilar effec made in amateur hands.

Edited by Karlos, 22 November 2010 - 01:53 AM.


#10 Mumbles

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:48 AM

Honestly, I don't know. I have heard that the denser you can get the cores, the better they are. Some of the loudest dragon eggs I've ever seen were pressed in a star plate. Given this, I bet rolling or cutting small stars from DE composition would probably work fairly well. There is a method where the composition is granulated and then rolled. This seems to result in fairly regularly shaped granules, which are fairly dense. If I was going to try this, I'd probably try rolling them as well, probably from the granulation and rolling method. I would have my doubts that DE with a much of a core would go off in a single explosion.

The information that was transcribed here from the proceedings of the ISF by Crazy_Swede is the only information I have on the subject. I'd trust what he said, and it comes from a fairly reputable source.

I mentioned this over on the UKPS forum as well, but Mike Swisher has published a procedure to make polverone. This uses hot water and multiple granulations. The ending product is actually quite dense and pretty well rounded compared to simple granulation. I wondered if something like it could be used for making DE, to yield a denser product without resulting to pressing or cutting them. I've also been thinking about the effect that NC grade has upon the product. There are many different nitration levels and viscosity grades available. I'd imagine most of us just use what is available, such as wood lacquer, RC aircraft nitrate dope, (*cringe*) ping pong balls, or smokeless powders. This is a subject I've never seen covered in much detail.
Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

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#11 FREAKYDUTCHMEN

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 12:48 PM

Commercial crackling isn't even made of NC. They are rolled up to 1.5 to 2mm.

#12 ExplosiveCoek

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 03:28 PM

Commercial crackling isn't even made of NC. They are rolled up to 1.5 to 2mm.


How do they make there 'cores' then, and what do they for the binder?

#13 FREAKYDUTCHMEN

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 01:18 AM

For all stars including crackling cores they make a little bit of dough from the starmix, pushing this through a 20 mesh screen. This can be done directly in the starroller and roll the cores further to the desired size.
Phenolic resin is used for binding dragon eggs. This rolls really perfect, no sticking, only rolling and growing.

#14 BJV

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 07:29 AM

For all stars including crackling cores they make a little bit of dough from the starmix, pushing this through a 20 mesh screen. This can be done directly in the starroller and roll the cores further to the desired size.
Phenolic resin is used for binding dragon eggs. This rolls really perfect, no sticking, only rolling and growing.


Phenolic resin: who sells it here is the US.
BJV
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#15 Bonny

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:07 PM

I mentioned this over on the UKPS forum as well, but Mike Swisher has published a procedure to make polverone. This uses hot water and multiple granulations. The ending product is actually quite dense and pretty well rounded compared to simple granulation. I wondered if something like it could be used for making DE, to yield a denser product without resulting to pressing or cutting them.


The last batches I made, I used a garlic press, and cut the comp as it extruded out. The eggs were much denser (and louder) than previous batches that were screened.
I plan on trying to make a pump from copper pipe or something with an end cap containing small holes.The garlic press leaked a lot around the edges, but I think the pipe would work very well, and also have less drying as the plunger would more or less keep the air out.

#16 Karlos

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 10:02 AM

Members. What about reg gum as binder for eggs? Maybe these resin decrease crackling effect, but maybe not. Maybe NC is top binder for this effect. In any event, for work with egg composition, rolling, cutting, is RG more suitable.

#17 Mumbles

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 10:44 AM

Well, there is only one way to find out. Besides NC, and presumably phenolic resin, water and dextrin can be made to work. I don't know if there is a secret to this, but I've seen eggs made in this manner and they certainly worked as well as any other DE I've seen.

As for where to get phenolic resin in the US, your guess is as good as mine. I don't think anyone has been able to find a good source. There was recently some interest raised on passfire, so perhaps we will find someone willing to get a few bags and split it up.
Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

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#18 Pyrophury

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 02:39 PM

I've tried the above crackling flower prime formula using both red gum and phenolic resin, rolled on 2mm exploding cores...

Posted Image

but in both instances hardly any sparks were produced, just a significant amount of smouldering debris falling to the ground.

http://www.pyrobin.c...gflowerfail.mp4

Am I doing something wrong or is this formula in need of some adjustments?

Edited by Pyrophury, 08 September 2011 - 03:00 PM.

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#19 dagabu

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:27 PM

Well, there is only one way to find out. Besides NC, and presumably phenolic resin, water and dextrin can be made to work. I don't know if there is a secret to this, but I've seen eggs made in this manner and they certainly worked as well as any other DE I've seen.

As for where to get phenolic resin in the US, your guess is as good as mine. I don't think anyone has been able to find a good source. There was recently some interest raised on passfire, so perhaps we will find someone willing to get a few bags and split it up.


I have some that I will sell off. It aint too pricey.

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#20 Mumbles

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:13 PM

Availability of phenolic resin in the US is very different right now.

As far as why those crackling flowers didn't work, you've got me. One thing I noticed is that your dragon eggs didn't seem to go off in one loud snap. That seems to be a prerequisite for the effect. I'm not sure how the chinese do it now, but the stars used to have to be going pretty slow to function properly. Now they slam them out of every insert and shell they make and they still function. It's difficult to really help as I've only played with this stuff very little. At the time I didn't have any phenolic resin, and I was using colophony resin and the stars were fired on the ground. I thought I got some semblance of the effect, but honestly I don't entirely remember. I didn't have the single snap DE working at the time, so that may have played a role in producing some of the cloud effect.
Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

The sky is my canvas, and I have 2,113 pounds of powdered paint in the workshop.




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