Fireworks Materials (Ⅲ)

                       Lron, Fe

  There can be little doubt that iron has used in fireworks from the earliest times. Apart from the steel dust for the manufacture of sparklers, the best iron for fireworks is the ordinary iron borings which have been broken down to a rough powder which will pass 20 mesh. The long needle like fragments give the best effects.

                    Lron Oxides

   The black magnetic form, fe3o4 is used the r mite and incendiary compositions and the brown form fe2o3 has been used in first fires and ignition compositions where high temperatures are needed.

                    Lead Oxides

   The  red form,pb3o4 and the chocolate colored dioxide, pbo2 have been used in first fires and ignitions for military purposes, and  are potentially useful for fireworks also. Combined with magnesium, it is used for crackling micro stars.

                    Magnesium . Mg

On the other hand, it is indispensable in situations where it is essential to gain high candle power in signal flares.

                         Magnesium Mg/AL

  Magnesium is used in fireworks for a variety of purposed;

  1 . in coarse powder of about 30-50 mesh the metal produces a sharp crackling noise in colored flame fountains. The presence of  cryol It e seems to enhance this effect.

  2 . Dust free coarse powders produce pleasant sizzling effects in some stars.

  3 . The finer powders from 120 mesh onwards are used to enhance colored flames, produce some silver effects and to produce the newer blinker strobe effects. Come from magnesium burning with the nitrates of barium or strontium where the irrational burning can be varied with catalysts.

                             Paraffin Oil Compounds

Paraffin oil finds some use in fireworks and frequently performs more than one function at a time. When it is added to a colored fore mixture, for instance, not only does it help to reduce the influx of moisture and reduce the sensitivity, but it also makes the mixture easier to press. Normally about 1% used for these purposes.

Paraffin wax is usually used to coat metal powders or to waterproof finished fireworks, which are merely dipped in the molten wax.

              Potassium Chlorate, KCIO3

It is one of the most important chemicals used in the firework industry. This material is prepared by the electrolysis of potassium chloride solution, and is frequently imported into England from Spain and Switzer land. The sensitive nature of potassium chlorate is a problem to the firework manufacturer, particularly in the presence of sulphur , ammonium salts, and phosphorus, and none of these materials should be used with it.

                    Silicon, Si

 The material is only used in fireworks as an igniter in certain types of fireworks which needs a hot slag to initiate the reaction.

                    Sodium Nitrate, NaNO3

The crystals are readily soluble in water and melt at 308C. in combination with magnesium, it is useful for illuminating flares, but the stores have to be sealed so that they do not come into contact with the air.

                      Sodium Oxalate, Na2c2o4

There are two main uses for this substance. The first use is for the production of yellow colors in combination with potassium per chlorate and suitable fuels. The second use is the production of yellow glitter effects, with gunpowder, aluminum and antimony.

                   Stear Ine-Stear Ic Acid

The main use for this material is for adding it to some compositions which are somewhat sensitive to friction. It can also be used in those fireworks where  it is desirable to have along flame.


 Lactose,c12h11o11.h20 is sometimes used as a fuel in firework manufacture. Used in compositions which are required to react at low temperatures, it is of use in the manufacture of some blue colors. It also replaces sucrose, which is more sensitive with chlorates. Perhaps the most extensive use is in the manufacture of smokes using organic dyes.


It’s one of the most important fuels of the firework industry. It is a pale yellow, fairly dense powder, all of which should pass 120 mesh.

                     Titanium. Ti

The metal is easily ignited to produce brilliant silver sparks. It can be used in just the same way as iron powder, and has the advantage of not needing to be coated . like all new things it may have been overused, but no one regrets the absence of the dirtier old aluminum powders.

                 Titanium Dioxide. TiO2

This oxide is not much used by the firework industry, but occasionally features in some smoke compositions and is sometimes added to waterproof paints.

                 Zinc , Zn

Certain recipes in the old firework books included zinc, but little use is made of the finely powdered variety except in the manufacture of certain types of smokes. Zinc smokes are very efficient and very good, but they are somewhat sensitive to moisture and have been known to react and ignite themselves. Most schoolboys know that a mixture of zinc, ammonium nitrate and ammonium chloride will catch fire when a small amount of water is added to the powder.

                Zinc Oxide Z n O

The principal use for this material is also in the manufacture of smokes.


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