Journal of Pyrotechnics

 

The Journal of Pyrotechnics

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Titles and Abstracts for Issue No. 13, Summer 2001

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Evaluation of Lithium Compounds as Color Agents for Pyrotechnic Flames
Ernst-Christian Koch [Morlauterer Straße 103a, D-67567 Kaiserslautern, Germany]

Abstract: The obstacles to producing red colored pyrotechnic flames with lithium compounds are discussed. The principle emitter of red light in such flames is atomic lithium. Hydrogen and halogens in the flame gases are expected to have a substantial effect on the concentration of atomic lithium. The development of effective Li-based red color compositions therefore depends primarily on the proper control of the concentrations of hydrogen and halogens in the flame to maximize the formation of atomic Li. Some possible ways of doing this are proposed and are supported by thermodynamic calculations.

Keywords: lithium, pyrotechnics, red flame, color agent

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Pyrotechnic Delays and Thermal Sources
M. A. Wilson and R. J. Hancox [Pains Wessex Australia P/L, Melbourne, Australia]

Abstract: The technology associated with pyrotechnic delays, together with the many factors, both physical and chemical, that affect the performance of delay compositions and influence the design of delay elements have been outlined. The production of heat by thermite and thermate systems is similarly discussed.

Keywords: pyrotechnics, gassy delays, black powder, gasless delays, thermites, thermates, incendiaries, Goldschmidt reaction

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Fireworks Shell Drift due to Shell-to-Bore Clearance
Randall K. Norton [Pittsburg, CA 94565, USA]

Abstract: For fireworks aerial shells, decreasing shell-to-bore clearance and increasing mortar length appear to have the effect of increasing the predictability of fireworks aerial shell trajectories, and thus dud aerial shell impact points. Some geometrical considerations are given to the influence of mortar length and shell-to-bore clearance on apparent aerial shell drift.

Keywords: fireworks aerial shell drift, mortar length, shell clearance

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Pressure, Plume Flicker, and Acoustic Data Correlation in Labscale Hybrid Rockets
Mary Fran. Desrochers, Gary W. Olsen, Chris Luchini, and M. Keith Hudson
[Department of Applied Science and The Graduate Institute of Technology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR 72204 USA]
Abstract: The development of the hybrid rocket motor has been plagued by combustion instabilities. These are usually monitored as fluctuations in chamber pressure and are on the order of tens of Hz in frequency. Previous work using our labscale hybrid system has also indicated instabilities at these frequencies. These have been attributed to fuel chuffing or other phenomena. Additional studies, in areas such as IR and other spectral monitoring, have indicated that these oscillations are also present in the plume as light emission flicker. However, they were not investigated in the previous work.

This paper presents a study of these specific phenomena and attempts to correlate plume flicker, acoustic data, and higher speed chamber pressure monitoring. It was found that the plume flicker frequencies match those found using high speed pressure transducers, although these light intensity fluctuations demonstrate greater amplitude. Acoustic data could not be correlated, as it appears as a form of white noise. The authors feel that flicker data offers an inexpensive but sensitive alternative to high-speed pressure transducer use.

Keywords: hybrid rocket, exhaust plume, plume diagnostics, combustion diagnostics, engine health monitoring, optical emissions, acoustic emissions

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Pyrotechnic Reaction Residue Particle Identification by SEM / EDS
K. L. & B. J. Kosanke [PyroLabs, Inc., 1775 Blair Rd., Whitewater, CO, USA] and
Richard C. Dujay
[Mesa State College, Electron Microscopy Facility, Grand Junction, CO, USA]

Abstract: Today the most reliable method for detecting gunshot residue is through the combined use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) of the resulting X-rays. In recent years, this same methodology has found increasing use in detecting and characterizing pyrotechnic reaction residue (PRR) particles. This is accomplished by collecting particulate samples from a surface in the immediate area of the pyrotechnic reaction. Suspect PRR particles are identified by their morphology (typically 1 to 20 micron spheroidal particles) using a SEM, which are then analyzed for the elements they contain using X-ray EDS. This will help to identify the general type of pyrotechnic composition involved. Further, more detailed laboratory comparisons can be made using various known pyrotechnic formulations.

Keywords: pyrotechnic reaction residue, gunshot residue, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, morphology, X-ray elemental analysis, forensics

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Commercial Developments in Red Phosphorus Performance and Stability for Pyrotechnics
Sebastian Hoerold and Andrew Ratcliff
[Clariant GmbH, Division PA, BU-Additive, D-65840 Sulzbach am Taunus, Germany]
Abstract: Red phosphorus has become an essential ingredient in the production of modern smoke and obscurant devices. Nearly all multi-spectral developmental projects are being based on the new versions of red phosphorus available from Clariant.

In pyrotechnics and munitions, phosphine liberated by the traditional red phosphorus- based smoke compounds may diffuse through the device and can give rise to corrosion of essential working parts. It is shown in this paper that surface modification treatment of red phosphorus can dramatically reduce the formation of decomposition products. New developments in coating the surface are presented and the long-term stability of various pre-treated red phosphorus powders are discussed.

The best stabilization results are found by using special combinations of precipitated inorganic salts together with special micro encapsulation systems. The use of dust suppression agents is also discussed.

The newly developed materials reduce the potential hazards that arise during the manufacturing process whilst improving the shelf life of the smoke composition.

Keywords: red phosphorus, stability, smoke, microencapsulation

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Summary Report on Tests on Display Fireworks Conducted by the Bureau of Mines for the U.S. Department of transportation Relative to Hazard Classification of Display Fireworks (Reprint)
J. Edmund Hay [Formerly: Supervisory Physical Scientist, Pittsburgh Research Center, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Pittsburgh, PA, USA]

Introduction: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requested the U.S. Bureau of Mines to conduct tests on explosive substances and articles in support of the involvement of both agencies with the United Nations (UN) Group of Experts on Explosives pursuant to the development of an international classification sys­tem for explosive substances and articles. As a sub-set of the work performed under this agreement, DOT requested the Bureau to conduct special tests on samples of display fireworks (classified as class B fireworks at the time that the tests were done) in their normal shipping cartons. These tests included tests conducted according to the specifications of UN test series 6, and an additional test to determine the consequences of a fire involving a truck loaded with 500 pounds of class B Fireworks. Test procedures and results are reported herein. These tests were performed at a site leased by the Bureau from Consolidation Coal Co. in Harrison County, Ohio, during the period May 28–31, 1985.

Keywords: display fireworks, UN tests, hazard classification

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Communications :
  • Brief Survey of Chromium Toxicity by Monona Rossol

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