Journal of Pyrotechnics

 

The Journal of Pyrotechnics

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Titles and Abstracts for Issue No. 16, Winter 2002

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Evaluation of the Hazards Posed by High Energy Bangers Part 2. Damage to Hand Simulants
R. K. Wharton and A. E. Jeffcock [Health and Safety Laboratory, Harpur Hill, Buxton, UK]
Abstract: This paper reports the development and construction of hand simulant models and their use to evaluate the extent of injury to persons holding, or being near to, high energy bangers when they are initiated.

The test work suggests a risk of severe injury to the hand and wrist from flashbangers containing more than 1 g of compositon, with amputation of the hand being possible for the more powerful items.

Keywords: potassium perchlorate, barium nitrate, aluminium, flash composition, bangers, damage, firecracker, small salute

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Thermodynamic Modeling of High-Temperature Systems
Gleb V. Belov [Glushko Thermocentre, IHED, IVTAN Assoc. of RAS, Izhorskaya 13/19, Moscow, Russian Federation]

Abstract: An outline of thermodynamic modeling of high-temperature systems is presented, including a historical introduction. There is no intention to provide a complete history of thermodynamic modeling, so neither vapor-liquid equilibria nor the thermodynamics of non-ideal solutions is discussed. This article reflects the author’s personal vision of the state of the art.

Keywords: thermodynamics, modeling, equilibria

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Test Burn of a Temporary Fireworks Stand
David Lynam [Clark County Fire Marshal, Ridgefield, WA, 98642, USA]

Abstract: In 1997, a burn test was performed on a temporary retail fireworks stand stocked with 900 pounds (400 kg) of a range of consumer fireworks. A maximum interior temperature of 1,400 °C was recorded inside the test stand and flashover occurred within approximately one minute of involvement of the fireworks. Ignited fireworks were observed traveling more than 250 feet (75 m) beyond the stand’s partially open front side. The greatest heat flux [calculated to be 60 kW/m2 at a distance of 5 feet (1.5 m)] was also observed on the stand’s front side. It was concluded that a setback distance of 20 feet (6 m) was required on sides of the stand without openings, and that a setback distance of 40 feet (12 m) was required where there were large openings in the stand.

Keywords: fireworks stand, consumer fireworks, test burn, flashover, heat flux, setback distance

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Accidents and their Role in Aiding the Management of Health and Safety in Pyrotechnics Manufacture
Allen Webb [Health and Safety Executive, Merton House, Bootle, UK]

Abstract: The investigation and analysis of the causes and circumstances of accidents can be an invaluable tool in assessing the effectiveness of systems for the management of health and safety. This article considers and draws on the lessons learned from a number of accidents to suggest a general framework to aid the development of management systems for the manufacture of explosives. While the emphasis is on firework and pyrotechnic manufacture, the issues have wider application.

Keywords: safety management, pyrotechnics, health and safety, manufacture

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Thermodynamics of Black Powder and Aerodynamics of Propelled Aerial Shells
John E. Mercer [Gig Harbor, WA, USA]

Abstract: This paper describes the theoretical basis of a computer code that numerically models firework mortars. The code analyzes both the Black Powder propelling and flight segments of a shell. Equations for the gas dynamics of Black Powder combustion, leakage flow around the shell and aerodynamics of flight are included. Representations for commonly used Black Powder grain sizes allow for simple modeling of test cases. The numerical equation solver in the code uses standard parameters for specifying any mortar test condition. This solver computes every model parameter of the gas and shell dynamics in 2 µs time steps while in the mortar and in 1 ms time steps in flight. The modeling demonstrates that the release of energy from Black Powder is a multi-step process, first from the burning of the grains, next from the latent heat release from condensation, and finally from the latent heat release from fusion. The shell flight dynamics are based on aerodynamic theory employing conventional parameters. Uses of this code include design of mortars, and parametric and safety analyses. The code even includes a crosswind drift analysis for predicting expected dud fallout location. The analytic models were verified on a multitude of test cases, taken from both firework mortars and muzzle loading firearms data. Agreement with the experimental data is within the experimental measurement variation.

Keywords: black powder, aerial shells, thermodynamics

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Effect of Ultrasound on Single-Base Propellants for Pyrotechnic Purposes
Valentin Grozev [Artillery and Air Defense Military Academy, Shoumen, Bulgaria],
Radi Ganev
[Ministry of Defence, Armament Policy Directorate, Sofia, Bulgaria], and
Ivan Glavchev
[University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy, Sofia, Bulgaria]

Abstract: Investigations were conducted on the effect of ultrasound on single-base propellants. Changes in the average viscosimetric molecular weight of nitrocellulose in the solutions of propellants in acetone and in a mixture of ethyl alcohol-diethyl ether were studied. It has been established that, for at least 60 minutes, the molecular weight decreases exponentially. On-going degradation processes and the effect of cavitation during treatment of the propellants with ultrasound were analyzed. The change in nitrogen content and the heat released were also measured. The absorption coefficients and the sound velocities of the propellants were determined. Using these parameters, the dynamic modulus of elasticity was calculated. The results obtained are used in the processing of propellants for pyrotechnic purposes.

Keywords: single-base, propellants, ultrasound, degradation

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The Effects of External Fire on Fireworks Stored in Steel ISO Transport Containers
S. G. Myatt [Health and Safety Laboratory, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire, UK]

Abstract: The increased use of steel ISO transport containers for storing fireworks led the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to commission research to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of fireworks in such storage when exposed to an external fire. Subsequent incidents involving storage of fireworks in ISO containers demonstrated that violent explosions could occur. This added impetus to the research programme. It was found that selection boxes of fireworks that were readily available to the general public were unlikely to present a significant hazard in bulk storage. More energetic fireworks, such as those used by professional display operators, were capable of generating sufficient pressure within the container to cause the doors to fail and for the walls and roof to become deformed. These more energetic trials used a range of firework types including star shells up to 200 mm in diameter, and resulted in unburnt stars being projected up to 140 m and unexploded fireworks being thrown to a distance of up to 32 m. Pyrotechnic effects (stars) were observed over an area in excess of 100 m diameter and thermal imaging indicated that a fireball with an effective surface temperature of 400 °C was produced over a diameter of 36 m. None of the trials produced violent mass explosion effects of the type reported in connection with recent incidents at Uffculme, UK and Enschede, The Netherlands.

Keywords: fireworks, storage, fire, explosion, ISO, container, classification, UN

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Application of Hydroxyl (OH) Radical Ultraviolet Absorption Spectroscopy to Rocket Plumes
M. W. Teague, Tonya Felix [Department of Chemistry, HendrixCollege, Conway, AR, USA]
M. K. Hudson and R. Shanks

[Dept. of Applied Science, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR, USA]

Abstract: A spectrometer system was constructed for measurement of transient species in flames by absorption of ultraviolet radiation. The output of a xenon arc lamp was used as the source of radiation, which was focused through the flame and onto a monochromator equipped with an intensified silicon diode array detector. The system was used to measure absorption by hydroxyl (OH) radical around 306 nm in the plume of a hybrid rocket motor. Hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) was used as the fuel and gaseous oxygen as the oxidizer. The experimental spectra were analyzed by comparison with known vibrational and rotational lines using a multi-parameter curve-fitting program. OH radical concentration and temperature profiles of the rocket plume are presented along with details of the spectrometer specifications.

Keywords: absorption spectroscopy, hybrid rocket motor, combustion diagnostics

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Communications :
  • Grass Tree Gum—(Australian Dragon’s Blood) by Dr. McCrea / John Kruse

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  • Review by K. Hudson of Propellants and Explosives: Thermochemical Aspects of Combustion by Naminosuke Kubota

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  • Review by L. Weinman of Explosives by R. Meyer, J. Köhler, and A. Homburg

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    Last updated 22-Jan-2009