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Fireworks Safety And Transportation

November 3, 2010

Mush current legislation is based on concepts derived from the United Nations recommendations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods (often referred to as the “orange book”). Although these recommendations are not mandatory, they are widely accepted and fairly widely understood. The fundamental problem with using the recommendations for general legislation is that they address only the hazard of materials in their state for transport. For fireworks theist usually means packaged, and does not (and indeed cannot and should not) address their storage, use or manufacture. It is in these areas that legislation based on the UN scheme of classification of dangerous goods breaks down.

The UN recommendations classify all explosives in one of the following groups:

1 .  Those packages that pose a mass explosion hazard.

2 .  Those packages that pose a projectile hazard.

3 .  Those packages that pose a hazard from fiery projections.

4 .  Those packages that pose only a limited hazard.

5 .  Extremely insensitive substances that pose a mass explosion hazard.

6 .  Articles containing extremely insensitive substances that do not have a mass explosion hazard.

   Furthermore, the united nations assigns a compatibility group to packaged goods, and defines which compatibility groups may be packaged or transported together. The result of testing assigns any item to a particular hazard group, and compatibility group, and the item as presented is then assigned a four digit UN number, which identifies both the hazard of a particular packaged item and its correct shipping name. thus all fireworks are assigned one of the following UN number:

0333 ( 1.1G ) Fireworks that pose a mass explosion risk.

0334 ( 1.2G ) Fireworks that pose a projectile risk.

0335 ( 1.3G ) Fireworks that pose a fiery projectile risk.

0336 ( 1.4G ) Fireworks that pose a low risk.

0337 ( 1.4S ) Fireworks that pose a very limited risk.

    It is essential to understand that the assignment of a particular firework package into one of the five groups above is critically dependent on the packaging of that item.

Table 11.1 shows a hypothetical example on how 75mm maroon (salute) shells could be assigned to any of the five UN numbers if packaged in particular ways.

                   Table 11.1

  UN Hazard   Packaging    Comments
1.1   G (0333) Say 75 X maroons in an extremely strong walled box. There is the possibility of sympathetic

Detonation in this case.

1.2 G (0334) Say 75 X maroons in a metal

“ammunition box”

It is possible that the explosive fragmentation

Of the box will lead to metallic fragments of

Sufficient size and energy to force assignment

Into this hazard class.

1.3 G (0335) Say 75X maroons in a

Fiberboard box.

In this case it is possible that the action of one maroon bursting will project fragments of the other maroons in such a way as to cause assignment into this hazard class.
1.4 G (0336) A single maroon in a

Fiberboard box

In this case the hazard will be very local to

The box.

1.4 S (0337) A single maroon in an

“elephant” sized box.

With a large enough box the effect of the maroon busting will be confined within the box itself, thus leading to assignment into this hazard class.

In general most fireworks fall into either the 1.3G (0335) or 1.4G (0336) classifications.

Table 11.1 shows that it is pointless to try to define which fireworks are suitable for consumer use by using hazard classifications.  Although it is undoubtedly true that more powerful fireworks are likely to have greater classifications (e.g. 1.3G rather than 1.4G), careful packaging can reduce the hazard. Indeed, there are several ongoing trials which attempt to legitimately classify even large shells as 1.4G by using wire-mesh lined fiberboard boxes.

In addition, the UN recommendations define, in the most general terms, the types of packaging that are suitable for the carriage of all dangerous goods, and explosives and fireworks in particular. This leads to the assignment of a UN mark (not to be confused with the UN hazard code) to a particular package that has been tested to be suitable for transport of a particular item of combination of items.

This may appear to be a classic “chicken and egg” paradox. You need to have a suitable package, that is certified to bold a particular hazard type, in which to test the item to assign it that hazard type. Fortunately, most regulatory authorities have agreed methods by which this paradox may be overcome.

The basis of the UN recommendations for fireworks is that if packaged in a suitable way, the hazards arising from accidental ignition of a package are reasonably well defined and understood. Theist is particularly important for the emergency services in case of an accident. They need to be able to assess the frisk of attempting to control the incident.


Fireworks And Liuyang

November 2, 2010

The history of fireworks production in liuyang spans more than 1300 years. It goes like this “the earliest fireworks came into being in the tang dynasty(7th~10th century),and Chinese fireworks manufacture began to flourish during the song dynasty; its birthplace is liuyang” in 1980 liuyang was named the “ home of fireworks” by china’s central government. With its excellent technology and advanced line of production, liuyang fireworks are well-known at home and abroad.

    Liuyang fireworks have received many quality awards in china, as well as in many international product competitions, including the following:

In 1929, the first place in the Chinese national goods exhibition.

In 1933, the Quality Award at the Chicago international fair.

In 1985, the “red lantern” shell got the gold Award in the Chinese products Quality competition.

In 1986, the first place at the 21st Monaco international fireworks display competition.

In 1988, the Chinese manufacturing and Art Flower Award, the Gold A ward at the Chinese light products fair, and the Quality award of the Chinese manufacturing and art flower award.

In 1990, the Chinese Manufacturing and Art Flower Awards.

In 1991, the Quality Award of the Foreign Trade Department.

In 1992, the Gold Medal at the Macao international Fireworks Display Competition.

In 1996, the Gold Medal at the 9th Macao International fireworks display competition.

In the 24 years since 1979, when the policy reformation and the opening up of  china to foreign trade was implemented, liuyang has achieved a great leap forward in industry and trade relations with the international business community. Moreover, china’s entry into the WTO and Beijing’s successful bid to host the 2008 Olympic games have brought still greater prospects to liuyang fireworks.

Looking back upon our past, we feel very proud. In these 24 years of reformation and greater openness, we have made contributions to society not only in material wealth but also in spiritual civilization. In this period, liuyang fireworks enterprises have created an accumulated profits and generated tax yields of 10 billion yuan, nearly 20 times that of the 30 years before 1979. During this time, the liuyang fireworks industry has also won numerous awards in many competitions at national and international level.

Looking to the future, we have tremendous confidence in the continued success of the liuyang fireworks industry. We believe that the brilliant past of liuyang fireworks will usher in an equally bright future. Firstly, we are producing famous fireworks with a long, 1300-year history, which means that we have a built-in advantage in the competitive quality market. Secondly, we are supported by a determined local government working hard to promote our industry abroad, and by a dedicated, motivated, well educated, creative and conscientious workforce. Therefore, we believe with good reason that, despite the intense international competition, the liuyang fireworks industry will continue to successfully ride the huge tide of the global economy into a brilliant future.

We warmly welcome friends from all walks of life, both at home and abroad, to liuyang, the home of fireworks.

Fireworks Business Talk

November 1, 2010

Gao Ming and Mr. Johnson had a lot of phone calls and emails in the past half year. Gao Ming tried his best to introduce Liuyang Fireworks to Mr. Johnson, the executive manager of Flyflower Fireworks company. Now Mr. Johnson has some interest in establishing into business relations with Gao Ming’s company and he makes a decision to come to liuyang and visit the company and see the products. Gao Ming picked Mr. Johnson up at Huanghua Airport and they were on their way to liuyang.

The following is their dialogue;

Johnson:    Gao Ming, I once heard from my friend and read from a book that Chinese fireworks have a long history, but the fact is that I don’t know much about them except that they have the best quality and the longest volume of production in the world. Could you kindly tell me something about them?

Gao Ming:  OK, I do not know much a bout the history of Chinese fireworks, so I can only tell you what I know. The earliest fireworks in china came into being in the period of the tang dynasty. The manufacture of Chinese fireworks began to flourish during the song dynasty. In liuyang, we have honor li tian as the “forerunner of fireworks”.  Because he found a method of making fireworks. Firecrackers were used in early times, just as they are now, to scare a way evil spirits from wedding and birth celebrations and from funerals, and they were also much in evidence at various religious festivals. These firecrackers were often made by packing gunpowder into bamboo cases or rolled tubes, so laying the foundations of modern firework manufacture. They exploded when thrown on to the fire, hence the origin of the name “firecracker”. An encyclopaedia dated around 1630, refers to “fire trees and silver trees” used in the tang dynasty (7th~10th centuries).

Johnson:  thank you so much, Gao Ming! You are really a fireworks specialist.

                                  At the Hotel

         One hour later, they arrived at Grandson city resort (the best botel in liuyang).

Gao Ming:  Here we are! Look over there that’s the liuyang river, a well-known river ,and the subject of a bousehold-song. Let’s take the luggage to room 1108.

Johnson:    OK, let’s go.

Gao Ming:   would you like to take a rest now? we’ll have supper in the dining room. How about at 5:30?

Johnson:   OK, see you later!

Gao Ming:  Aright, bye!

                            At the table

Gao Ming:   Dinner is ready. Shall we go into the dining room? This way, please.

Johnson:     Thank you

Gao Ming:   Mr. Johnson, would you like to take this seat?

Johnson:    OK, thanks.

Gao Ming:   Well, this drink is liuyang he, it is named after our well-known river-the liuyang river.

Johnson:     I believe that’s the way many famous liquors and wines are named.

Gao Ming:   this is roast duck, and this is sweet and sour fish.

Johnson:     Thank you, Gao Ming. What a feast you’re giving me!

Gao Ming:   Listen! (Bang!) The fireworks display is starting. In front of the hotel, you can enjoy different fireworks displays almost every night. There are many fireworks factories in liuyang and they often display their products’ effects. Shall we go out and enjoy it?

Johnson:     OK!

      (6 months later Mr. Johnson returns to liuyang, since the last time he visited he and Gao Ming have negotiated a business deal.)

                         A  Negotiation

Johnson:    Good morning, Gao Ming. Good to see you again.

Gao Ming:  It’s good to see you, too, Mr. Johnson. It’s been several months since we last saw each other. How have you been keeping?

Johnson:    Fine, thanks. And you ? How is Business?

Gao Ming:  Great! We’ve been doing extremely well. In fact America has become one of our best customers. We’ve increased our sales here ten-fold over the last year or so.

Johnson:    I’m pleased to hear it . I hope they keep growing.

Gao Ming:  One can never have too much success!

Johnson:    Now, to come to the point. We would like to increase our original order to 3 inch shells, but we are not sure which kind we want. Here is a list of our requirements.

Gao Ming:  (taking the list and looking at it) I’ve brought a series of catalogues on our latest models with me . all of them meet these requirements. Would you like to look over them?

Johnson:    I certainly would. Helping yourself to tea and cigarettes while I leaf through them.

Gao Ming:   Thank you.

Johnson:    ( A fter several minutes of looking through the catalogues) This is the one we’re interested in. Could you give me an idea of your price?

Gao Ming:  here are our price lists. The quotations are all in US dollars net , FOB. I’m sure you’ll find our prices most competitive.

Johnson:    But these prices are higher than the ones you quoted 6 months ago!

Gao Ming:  I’m sure you’ll appreciate that the costs of production have gone up considerably recently. Our prices still compare very favorably with those offered by other fireworks companies.

Johnson:    I must tell you that your price is higher than some of the quotations we have received elsewhere.

Gao Ming:  that may well be so. But everybody in the fireworks trade knows that our products are of top quality and incorporate the most advanced technology.

Johnson:   I grant that they are of the best quality, but we simply cannot order them at this price.

Gao Ming:  well, considering that you are ordering three thousand cartons, we could reduce our price by say, -2%

Johnson:    When I say your prices are  too high, I don’t mean they are too high merely by 2%.

Gao Ming:  What kind of a reduction did you have in mind then?

Johnson:    If we are to place an order with you I think a discount of about 10% would be sufficient.

Gao Ming:  10%! That’s out of the question! You can’t expect us to make such a large reduction.

Johnson:   in that case there is no need for further discussions. We might as well call the whole deal off.

Gao Ming:  let’s not be hasty, Mr. Johnson. Perhaps it’s unwise for either of us to insist on his own price. How about meeting each other half way?

Johnson:   what exactly do you propose?

Gao Ming:   I propose a reduction of 4%

Johnson:    that is hardly half way, Mr. Gao! Let’s both make a further concession-6%

Gao Ming:  You certainly drive a hard bargain, Dr. Johnson. But I’m afraid 5% is our rock bottom price.

Johnson:    very well, then 5% it is.

Fireworks Products And Effects (II)

October 27, 2010

                               Flying pigeon

The line rocket or flying pigeon is a very popular item at firework displays and frequently consists of a wooden block with a hole through the center so that it can slide along a tightly stretched rope or wire. Four 16mm rockets are fixed to the block and,in addition,there are four fierce drivers attached to a small hoop fixed on the block.

Smaller pigeon type fireworks,called rats,consist of very fierce drivers which follow each other down the wire.They are charged with a mixture of gunpowder and iron and the tubes are about 12mm in diameter.


The greatest skill of firework maker can be exhibited in the manufacture of star shells,or “bombs”as they frequently called. Shells are produced in huge quantities every year but the quality varies from,at one extreme,the most ordinary types,which literally drop the stars into the sky in a disorderly heap, to the magnificent pattern shells at the other extreme.

The shell maker thus has the choice of three methods of bursting round shells:

  1. Employ a small gunpowder charge and a weak exterior wall to obtain the bouquet effect.
  2. Employ a much fiercer bursting charge and a comparatively weak shell wall in order to obtain an even burst. The use of a fierce bursting charge involves the risk of destroying the stars or causing ignition failures.Flash powder is sometimes used for this purpose but there are many drawbacks and dangers to the technique.
  3. Employ a very strong outside shell wall and use a comparatively slow expanding bursting charge.

Round shells are used in various sizes.The smallest being made to fit a 50mm diameter tube and the largest 100mm.the most common sizes are 75mm,100mm,125mm,150mm and 200mm,these being fairly universal. 300mm and 400mm shells are sometimes manufactured but it is a byword among firework makers that their effect is frequently no better than a 150mm or 200mm shell.

In recent years plastic ball shells have become very common,the molded plastic being made in such a way that the delay and lifting charge are all built into the same unit.They are cheaper and easier to fill,though in some respects paper seems to be superior.

After the shell has been filled with stars and blowing,the fuse is carefully glued into place,but care must be taken to see that the fuse is secure or else it may be forced through into the shell by the lifting charge.


The French word”grebe”,meaning a spray or corn,is still used for firework fountains,particularly for those which produce force in choked tubes.A wide variety of fountains can be found within the firework range but generally speaking there are two basic types;those of the long narrow variety and the short squat fountains.The mixtures naturally vary immensely with the type of tube and method of filling.


Tubes for fountains are usually about 25cm long and from 12-25mm in diameter.There are also other sizes which are smaller or larger than the ones mentioned.The wall thickness is sufficient to prevent the fire bursting the side of the tube.

The old English”flower pot”is produced from a combination of red orpiment and lampblack.

Silver fountains are made with titanium or aluminum.Titanium is uncomplicated,but aluminum powder varies tremendously from one manufacturer to another.

Glitter and flitter garbs are modifications of the corresponding star mixes. Yellow glitter is made with sodium oxalate and white glitter is made barium carbonate or strontium oxalate.


Gold and silver rains consist of long narrow fountains of small bore which are fierce enough to produce a good show of sparks.The tubes are about 6mm to 9mm in diameter and from 7.5cm to 12.5cm long.As they are cheap items they are invariably dry rolled,being merely pasted at the edge of the paper. Tubs are charged with a funnel and wire or other means,but is should be pointed out that dry compositions containing more than a few percent of aluminum should not be used in a funnel and wire apparatus.

                  Flying squibs

In effect these were fierce little drivers,but they are no longer sold to the public because of their erratic and consequently dangerous behavior.Tough little tubes about 9mm diameter with a”pulled in”choke were firmly charged with a fierce driver composition of gun powder and charcoal.When ignited,they scurried along the ground and could be both amusing and irritating.


Cones have been included chapter because they are really fountains,though they are not usually charged very solidly.

Some cones are fitted with a washer inside the cone itself to give a secondary effect,but this is not common.

                        Chip Gerbs

Fountains and cones have always been made with micro stars which were made from either small pieces of colored star composition or silver granules’. These were mixed with a gold charcoal mix and,needless to say,stars made with chlorate were hazardous.There was also a second problem in that the stars often burnt out inside the tube before they reached the outside.

The nature of these micro stars is such that light after a short delay and this gives them time to get out of the tube. However, the compositions need to be lightly charged to avoid breaking the stars and to get fast clean burning.


There are several ways of making pinwheels,but good ones are not easy to manufacture.

Silver wheels can be made with gunpowder mixed with about 12% of bright aluminum powder.If the aluminum is too fast burning, explosion is likely,but if the aluminum is too slow,the wheel will not turn.These wheels are a problem,but the Germans make good ones.


English crackers are made in exactly the same way as pinwheels in that the grain gunpowder is poured over a bundle of pipes and then shaken down.The pipes are made of brow Kraft paper,dry rolled.Manufacturers vary in their tastes as to which type of grain to employ.

When the pipes full of grain they are rolled several times between heavy rollers so that the grain is crushed and the pipes ate flattened.

A rather cheap and less successful method of making crackers is to enclose a length of thick,good quality match in close fitting length of match pipe,and complete it in the usual way.

              Torpedoes,throw down crackers and amerces

These specialist items are outside the normal range of firework manufacture,for they employ impact sensitive materials which are very dangerous to handle.

Gunpowder History

October 19, 2010

  The Chinese consider that the properties of gunpowder were discovered during the period 475-221 BC with the rise of interest in alchemy and the urge to perfect the making of both gold and the elixir of life. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC) alchemy became increasingly popular, but precise details of the origins of gunpowder are not clear because this was not what the alchemists were primarily looking for.

   By the 4th century AD the search for the elusive elixir was still active. Saltpeter was still the main ingredient, but as the experiments could be somewhat explosive, aqueous methods were also mixtures such as saltpeter ,resin and hog intestines; it was found that under some conditions the mixture could be quite explosive.

  The first serious formulations for gunpowder as know it seem to stem from writings about AD808 when sulfur and charcoal have clearly entered the trials though the object was not necessarily to produce explosions so much as to subdue them. It was reported that mixtures of saltpeter, sulfur, raga and honey created fires which burnt hands, faces and houses. The addition of charcoal to hot mixtures of saltpeter and sulfur would certainly have been inflammatory!

  It has always been stated that the origins of black powder are Chinese and much of the evidence has been found in books printed in the west . We are happily in the position now to have more authentic evidence from a document forwarded by professor Fe n g Chang gen of the Beijing institute of the authors of the paper” The Origin and Development of Ancient Gunpowder” were Yang s h u o and Ding Jing(42).

  Black powder is described as” a bright pearl in the ancient Chinese civilization” with its three components being known from the earliest of times.

  Charcoal was already used at the Bronze Age in China and recognized as fuel for the reduction of metal ores.

  Sulfur was recorded in the 6th century BC and in other documents it was regarded as remarkable for its ability to dissolve metals like gold , silver ,copper and iron. It is also featured in medicine.

  There is considerable evidence of the existence and knowledge of Saltpeter . Once again, its reactivity with metals its use in medicine in the elixir of life recipe established its importance in these times.

  In later times, the Arabs called saltpeter “Chinese snow” and the Persians called it “Chinese salt”.

  There is no doubt that this proto gunpowder can burn well and produce quite a quantity of gas.

  While there have been several writings concerning the use of gunpowder and weapons in India and Muslim countries, p r of . f eng  j I a s h eng , an authority on the study of gunpowder, is of opinion that the origins are with china. it is possible that by 1225,gunpowder techniques were transmitted from china via India to the muslin countries. later on. the Arabs then transmitted gunpowder to Spain. by the middle of the 16 t h century it was transmitted to Europe. It is suggested that roger bacon discovered gunpowder through translations of Arab books.

  Early the Chinese formulations recorded in 1044 work out at approximately saltpeter 60%,sulfur 30%,charcoal 10%,but formulations includes sesame fibred, bamboo fibred, arsenic, lead salts, oils, and resins. the assumption is that the organic materials would need to be carbonized. The addition of lead and arsenic compounds may suggest a poisonous smoke of military nature.

Fireworks News

April 23, 2010

Yesterday evening, I read the news that liuyang’s fireworks will display on Shanghai World Expo. As a liuyang fireworks man, I really feel very proud. Wish fireworks show will success. And best regards for Shanghai World Expo. Fireworks were first developed in ancient China. It’s a big part of people’s celebration. So I think that fireworks will be one of the most beautiful scenery of Shanghai World Expo.

Best regards for yushu!

April 22, 2010

Yushu , come on. All of us will support you.  Wish yushu will have a better future.

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July 13, 2009

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