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An easy way to make 'Dragon Flowers'

dragon-eggs drogenflowers

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#1 BengalFlair

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:22 AM

I've been working on dragon-flower for a couple of years and the last year I've got some success and I'm happy as well.
At first, my aim was to get such a composition which ensure louder single pop, less smolder phase and easily ignite with BP prime. I used lead tetra oxide as bismuth compounds are very much expensive and not easily available here .Wasting lot of chemicals in the long run I found a composition which works great to me. Then I added various mesh and proportion of FeTi to that composition and after some trial and error sessions, I finally got that amazing effect. The composition is as follows:-
  • Lead tetra oxide (Pb3O4) 70 % (toxic!)
  • Black Copper Oxide (CuO) 12.5 %
  • MgAl (50\50) 9.5 % (-200mesh)
  • MgAl (35\65) 8 % (-200mesh)
  • FeTi (30\70) +15% (50-120mesh)
  • PBNC (10%) +20 %( no pyro grade NC available here)
I kneaded the composition with lacquer to make like dough and flattened it about 2mm thick with my gloved palm. Waited a while and pushed through a 10 mesh screen. Granules were 10-12 mesh, primed with green mix and thinly coated with a metal added charcoal streamer composition, with a light final touch of bp. I think it'll help you guys. Any feedback is welcomed.
Here is a video which I made last year.

http://youtu.be/ikhNJnprKOc
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#2 Mia

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:38 AM

I have made up your formula today and pressed through a 10# screen initial tests on a dry mix gave a very nice effect, my nitro was not made with PB? I take it that is ping pong balls? Any way I have a batch made just waiting for the NC to dry fully will let you know how it go’s but like I said initial indications show promise thank you for sharing the formula Regards Mia

#3 spitfire

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:18 AM

@ BengalFlair, first i want to complement you for your nice detailed post! Definitely going to try you formula! Thanks for sharing.
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#4 fredhappy

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 04:29 PM

#bengalflair: those dragon eggs look very good!

The problem I experienced was that the dextrin based prime would not adhere to the NC bound dragon eggs. Did you use NC to prime the dragon eggs with green mix?

What kind of streamer comp did you use for the effect?

I use bismuth trioxide dragon eggs, and also a different formulae you are using. It is expensive, but I do not like the toxicity of lead compounds. I do understand that bismuth trioxide is hard to find and is indeed expensive.

I used the screen method too, but the granules were quite uneven. Apart from one test with priming them ( prime blew off during break, no eggs were lit) I did have succes in using them in C based matrix comets.

http://youtu.be/2xdlYxygdeI?hd=1

I pressed a load of 2"comets with these granules and this matrix mix, and they worked fine as rising effects.

Reliable dragon eggs are a tricky effect to master, I hear you on the trial and error sessions.

Edited by fredhappy, 10 October 2012 - 04:33 PM.


#5 dan999ification

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:56 PM

are you still using the kids balls?
I too will try this with bismusth trioxide and is it ping pong balls or rubber? The results will be different due to the mesh of my metals and oxidiser but i meant to try this last year, good thing about pyro, will keep you busy forever ( if you have material )
Thanks for the detailed threads, refreshing.

Dan.
These are not dragon eggs
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#6 Algenco

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:25 PM

thanks for posting, I'll try it in a day or two

I have 20lb "red lead" hazard aren't any worse than some barium compounds, even so, cost makes it worthwhile
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#7 Bonny

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:29 PM

I have made up your formula today and pressed through a 10# screen initial tests on a dry mix gave a very nice effect, my nitro was not made with PB? I take it that is ping pong balls? Any way I have a batch made just waiting for the NC to dry fully will let you know how it go’s but like I said initial indications show promise thank you for sharing the formula Regards Mia


The NC should dry out very quickly. With dragon eggs, they work within an hour or so.
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#8 fredhappy

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 02:18 AM

dan999ification: what are you on about??

"are you still using the kids balls?" ,"These are not dragon eggs".

Where did you read this anywhere in this thread?? I've posted a youtube clip of a test I did with bismuth crackling pressed into a matrix comet.The desciption with the youtube clip is very clear I think.

I do not mean this in an angry way, but your post does not contribute anything to this thread in any way. Please be so kind to carefully read what is posted, and then reply.thanks!

#algenco: I agree to some extent. The issues I have with lead compounds is the accumulative effect in the human body. Barium compounds have more of an acute toxicity, but they are also quite rapidly secreted and metabolized ( to some extend). Lead simply accumulates. It is just a personal thing, I am sure that with the proper protection lead can safely be worked with. Personally I'd rather buy bismuth trioxide.

The positive thing is that with bismuth I use the 30 40 30 formulea. This formulea works well, and is very economical with the trioxide. A kilo will last a long time with this formulae.

Edited by fredhappy, 11 October 2012 - 02:24 AM.


#9 Mia

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:18 AM

Hi all the stars I made are dry with a light coat of BP prime so I ran a test today in a small mine and can confirm the effect is very good indeed! I was surprised how easy the composition ignited even with a BP prime, also they are very audible.
My next test will be to try some in a rocket header later tonight, try to stick to the original recipe if you try it, you can just use 50/50 MGAL I made another batch last night and testing today with a blow torch on a star it looks and sounds the same.
The use of red lead, I understand the worry’s people have as we all know it is an accumulative poison so take care using it but I am sure you all know Regards Mia

#10 Col

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:16 AM

You can approximate the original composition by adjusting the 50/50 MgAl to 15.1% and adding 2.4% aluminium (-200 mesh).

#11 Mia

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:42 AM

I think the 65 was in favour of the magnesium I see your point though, the stuff I have is 65 mag /35 Al best to wait for the original poster to get back on that! But to be honest Colin 50/50 just behaves the same in the formula; if you have the chemicals give it go I tell you it’s not bad at all.

#12 ExplosiveCoek

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:46 AM

Yeah that's more or less the same mix that I'm using now, although I don't mix the Ti (no FeTi) in with the crackling but use a smoulder comp instead. I might try with the the Ti embedded in the crackling comp itself, saves me some trouble with the smoulder layer.

These are my dragon egg's:

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#13 Col

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:05 AM

Its 35% Mg and 65% Al. I`ll knock up a batch using the 15.1% 50/50 MgAl, plus 2.4% Al. I have magnesium and aluminium so i may give that a go too.

#14 Mia

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:56 AM

Credit to the original poster but I fail to see the higher aluminium content if that’s the case, hope your tests go well Colin

#15 Col

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:49 PM

The 35/65 MgAl has less Mg (and more Al) in it than the 50/50. If you adjust the amount of 50/50 MgAl so it meets the total Mg requirement (15.1%) it`ll leave you short on Al by 2.4%. Easy fix, just add 2.4% -200 mesh Al ;)

Edited by Col, 11 October 2012 - 01:52 PM.


#16 BengalFlair

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:04 AM

Thanks to all you guys for commenting and keeping on the discussion. Some questions have arisen and I am trying my best to clear it in this post.

I don’t have any problem to prime it with dextrin bond green mix. The ingredients of the green mix must be very fine to adhere as the granules are so small.
The streamer was C6 + 25% < 45 micron dark Al (mepco 000) +5% extra dextrin.
I sort out the same size granules by sieving.

“are you still using the kids balls?” is addressed to me as I use plastic kids’ balls for my shells.

MgAl (35/65) contains 35%Mg and 65%Al. I used it to tune up the smolder phase a bit to get louder pop. Increasing of MgAl (35/65) in the composition keeping the total magnalium same, makes it to pop louder but also increases the smolder phase and decreases its ignitibility with bp prime. The mesh size of magnalium and the percentage of Mg as well as Al in it highly affect the performance of the composition. With same ratio of Mg and Al, all -200 mesh MgAl are not the same as the particle break ups may vary. So some fine tuning may be required for self satisfaction. I have not tried with atomized Al but tried to tune it with -325 granular Al and was dissatisfied.

#17 fredhappy

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 02:10 PM

bengalflair:

"I don’t have any problem to prime it with dextrin bond green mix. The ingredients of the green mix must be very fine to adhere as the granules are so small.
The streamer was C6 + 25% < 45 micron dark Al (mepco 000) +5% extra dextrin."

Very interesting, I'll give it another try with a new batch then. When I tried the screen method, the granules were very uneven. I had a lot of very small clumps. A friend of mine rolled the crackling onto small steel cores with diluted NC lacquer in a spray bottle, that seemed to yield small uniformly shaped round crackling stars. I had issues with the right amount of NC in the dough, too much and you are making spaghetti , too little and you end up with powder.

The C6 with added german dark explains a lot for me. For my matrix mix I used TT with some 63 micron magnalium to make the formulae hotter. and this mix ignited the unprimed crackling granules without any problems.

I think your dragon egg shells look excelent, very well done!. As said before, this effect is particularly challenging to get right.

thanks for sharing and explaining how you did it, I like your post a lot!

Edited by fredhappy, 12 October 2012 - 02:15 PM.


#18 dangerousamateur

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:41 PM

@bengalflair:
Thank you for sharing.

The Ti you use, what shape is it, sponge or flake?

And the laquer is made from ping pong balls, did I understand that correctly?

  • PBNC (10%) +20 %( no pyro grade NC available here)

What does that mean? 10% or 20%?
Or do you mean you used 10% pingpong balls in 90% acetone?

#19 Col

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:43 PM

The comp calls for ferro-titanium (30/70) 50-120 mesh. For PBNC, i weigh the pingpong balls (usually 2.4-2.7g each), cut into pieces and dissolve in 10x the weight of acetone (24-27g).

#20 BengalFlair

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:27 AM

It is 50-120mesh granular ferro-titanium.
The lacquer is made with 10grams of chopped ping pong balls dissolving in 90grams of acetone (stated as PBNC10%).I have stated to use +20%( by weight) of this lacquer for the said batch of my composition




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