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Do you ballmill your Charcoal streamers?


dangerousamateur

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I'm allways using commercial airfloat charcoal and coffeegrinder fine KNO3 and i'm quite happy.

However, most people seem to ballmill their C8, TT ect.

 

Does that pay off? I find the burnrate of my stuff quite right.

Do i gain a better effect by ball milling?

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i ballmill my TT slightly, becouse it is not fine enought to make strong stars. i may need to buy some CMC.
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I find milling my TT makes a huge difference. Smaller, more plentiful sparks, and a faster burn rate that causes the tail to be denser and have a broader diameter. Small stars look like short lived comets. I think it's great, but it might not be the ideal effect for everything.
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My nitrate, even out of the coffee grinder, has always been fairly granular. I tend to mill most things for 20-30 minutes to break up that. I've had issues with excessive hangtimes and fallout if I don't do that.

 

For some things I think it gives a better effect. There is something to be said about the thinner, sometimes lacy effect of unmilled too.

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for high charcoal content composition i make use of wet process and thenafter add metals.
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for high charcoal content composition i make use of wet process

You mean wet ballmilling?

 

I tend to mill most things for 20-30 minutes to break up that. I've had issues with excessive hangtimes and fallout if I don't do that.

I like thing burning a long time, rather than burn up in a second. Fallout is not a problem, i dont shoot for audiences anyway.

 

So if my ballmilled stuff burns to fast - what do i do to slow it down - use slower charcoal? Or rather switch to chrysanthemum of mystery?

 

 

 

Do you ballmill your glitters too? (without metals of course)

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no no wet process for charcoal based stars is different and ball milling is different.

Wet process used so that KNO3 must be soaked into charcoal pore,in such cases alcohol helps reducing water surface tension.

 

no no wet process for charcoal based stars is different and ball milling is different.

Wet process used so that KNO3 must be soaked into charcoal pore,in such cases alcohol helps reducing water surface tension.

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I ball mill blonde streamers. Everything else, only slightly. I have found that excessive milling leads to raspberries very easily. I have a difficult time rolling them. Don't ball mill glitters. It ruins the effect. What kind of charcoal are you using for stars? Most streamers burn fast by nature. If you are using pine, willow or commercial air float try milling only until the composition looks well incorporated. Some formulas say to granulate the composition using the wet process, then ball mill it before making your stars. I have always thought the wet process was redundant because they will be wet and formed into stars anyway.
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I don't shoot for an audience either and do enjoy long hangtimes. However there is a point where it becomes too much. If it hangs around too long we start to rain flaming shit all over the shoot site which can lead to fires, and just starts to be kind of distracting and look kind of dirty or sloppy to me. 20-30 minutes of milling just to break up the nitrate doesn't seem to detract much from the burn time for me. The effect is still very similar, just without the flaming shit in my experience. If I was worried about changing the effect, I'd just mill the nitrate with a small amount of the charcoal. On the plus side, I get to bypass screening kilos of some of these dusty mixes.

 

I do lightly ball mill my glitters too and have never had a problem. I use commercial airfloat for pretty much everything but lift and break.

 

I posted a video below of one of my shells that didn't have the composition ball milled. I have a video of some brocade stars I shot in competition at PGI a few years ago. Plenty of hangtime I assure you. I was actually worried I was going to get disqualified for having stuff hit the ground.

 

swapnilsutar1988, maybe you should try to explain this wet process you're using for the benefit of the rest of us.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXUGOrP7r3g

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@Mumbles:

Nice, thats how i like it. I will never make such monsters though.

 

Would you share the formula, and also the star size?

How fine was the oxidizer and charcoal, i assume coffee grinder treated?

 

 

 

 

What kind of charcoal are you using for stars?

Commercial beech. Also grapewine and willow, but i like to use the beech, i have many of this one.

 

 

swapnilsutar1988, maybe you should try to explain this wet process you're using for the benefit of the rest of us.

I second that!

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The charcoal was commercial airfloat out of the bag. I don't remember the original manufacturer, but both Service Chemical and Hummel-Croton supply the same stuff to all the pyro suppliers. I've never screened it, but pretty fine. Lancaster calls for -150 mesh when he means "airfloat" in his book. That's where the formula came from anyway.

 

The star itself is based on meal, but I used the components. The glitter is a little less dense this way, just FYI.

 

Lancaster Yellow Glitter:

 

Meal Powder - 70

Sodium Oxalate - 10

Antimony Trisulfide - 8

Atomized Aluminum - 7

Dextrin - 5

 

KNO3 - 52.5

Charcoal - 10.5

Sulfur - 7

Sodium Oxalate - 10

Antimony Trisulfide - 8

Atomized Aluminum - 7

Dextrin - 5

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swapnilsutar1988, maybe you should try to explain this wet process you're using for the benefit of the rest of us.

 

Many thanks to our APC member Bengalflair whoes method works great for me.

bengalflairs method-

''There are various wet processes but my process is safe and works great for me.

I usually grind the potassium nitrate and charcoal separately as fine as possible and mix them well by sieving without the binder (dextrin or sgrs).Then I pour patiently some boiling water little at time and kneed it to make thick slurry and place it in a flat tray. After some time it starts to get thicker due to evaporation of water then I kneed it occasionally and wait for a few hours to get the right consistency for granulation. In the right consistency I make a stiff ball of the composition with the pressure of my both palms and rub it through a 4 mesh screen to granulate it and collect on a non absorbent sheet like polythene. Then I spread the granules thinly and keep it in a shady and safe place for drying. It takes a few days to dry completely and depends on weather. After drying I mix the required binder to it and ball mill it for an hour or two to get the final composition.

I follow the same process to another Chrysanthemum, TT or charcoals based stars and add metals after final ball milling if required.

The alcohol helps the charcoal to absorb the water by reducing its surface tension to speed up the wetting process and the drying time of the composition is also reduced, as alcohol evaporates faster than water. But excessive alcohol affects the activation of dextrin and especially sgrs so I usually use 10% alcohol to just reduce the surface tension of water.''

 

after drying Bengalflair ballmill his comp for an hour or two but insted of ball milling I make use of rolling pin and flat wooden base to get final result (fine powder).

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@Mumbles:

Thanks. Do you you also remember how big your stars where? Otherwise its hard to judge their burnrate from the video.

 

 

Bengalflairs method is to much effort for me. But thanks anyway for posting it.

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I don't recall exactly. Somewhere between 1/2" and 5/8". They were cut stars by the way in case that makes a difference to you.
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