Journal of Pyrotechnics

 

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Titles and Abstracts for Issue 20, Winter 2004

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Simple Core Design for Neutral Burn Composite Rocket Motors
S. K. Anderson 13528 Elsie Road, Conifer, CO 80433, USA

Abstract: Two simple techniques for improving small amateur style rocket motors are discussed. The first uses a simple, post-cure technique to produce neutral thrust profiles using a simple machinist’s tap. The second uses a small Black Powder pellet to improve reliability and ignition of composite rocket motors.

Keywords: rocket motor, composite propellant, thrust profile, neutral burn, neutral thrust characteristic

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Strobe Chemistry
Clive Jennings-White 3096 S. 2300 E., Salt Lake City, Utah 84109, USA

Abstract: Pyrotechnic strobe compositions burn in an oscillatory manner such that there is a marked variation of emitted light intensity as a function of time. The most common theoretical explanation for the phenomenon is that such compositions contain within them sub-compositions that may be regarded as a smoulder composition and a flash composition. The smoulder reaction would have a lower activation energy and low heat output. The flash reaction would have a high activation energy and high heat output. The actual chemical components of strobe compositions are extremely diverse, confounding a unified chemistry of the phenomenon. Nevertheless the majority of strobe compositions can in fact be reasonably deconstructed into smoulder and flash compositions. However, there appear to be a few strobe compositions that defy such explanation; although it is possible that the author lacks the wit to comprehend the chemistry. It is also possible that the prevailing theory applies to some, but not to all, strobe compositions; and it is yet possible that a different theory will provide a more encompassing explanation with better predictive power.

Keywords: strobe, formulation, theory, flash, magnalium, smoulder, smolder

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Maximizing the Number of Electric Matches That Can Be Fired in a Single Circuit
Michael A. Tockstein Pyrotechnic Innovations, Wilmington, CA 90744 USA

Abstract: For a given electric match resistance and wire gauge, the number of electric matches that one can fire in a single circuit, using a standard DC firing system, depends on the arrangement in which the electric matches are wired (series, parallel or series-parallel). The number of electric matches fired from a single cue can be maximized by utilizing series-parallel circuits. This is demonstrated using graphs of the amount of current that is sent through each electric match in various series and parallel combinations. This data allows one to determine the maximum number of electric matches that can be successfully fired in a single circuit.

Keywords: electric match, all fire current, cue, electrical firing, resistance

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Sparking Compositions for Garden Fireworks
A. V. Belyakov, A. I. Khatsrinov, G. S. Baturova, L. A. Kiprova, E. N. Panferova
Department of Chemistry and Technology of Heterogeneous Systems, Kazan' State Technological University, Kazan', Russia

Abstract: As a result of studies performed, the burn rate and characteristics of the special effect of sparking compositions are established. A method of determining the spark characteristics by photographic method is tested. The results from improvement in the formulation of compositions for components used in garden fireworks are presented.

Keywords: garden fireworks, consumer fireworks, sparking composition, spark

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Principles of Solid Rocket Motor Design
Naminosuke Kubota
Scientific Advisor, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Kamimachiya 325, Kamakura 247-0065, Japan

Abstract: A number of parameters are needed to design a rocket motor to satisfy the specified flight trajectory of its payload. The major components of a rocket motor are propellant grain, motor case and its insulation, nozzle, and igniter. One of the key parameters is the burn rate characteristic of the propellant grain that is set in a rocket chamber either by cast method or by free-stand. The combustion phenomena in the motor are highly dependent on the design of the perforated propellant grains in which transient burning, erosive burning, oscillatory burning, and unstable burning occur. As a special rocket motor design, a two stage motor with two propellant grains in a single chamber, is described and compared with practical firing test results.

Keywords: flight dynamics, rocket motor, propellant combustion, two-stage motor, igniter, propellant grain, nozzle

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A Practical Performance Testing Protocol for Fireworks Mortar Tubes
Andrew Fischer + Pyromite Pyrotechnic Services, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Abstract: The author’s development of an alternative design for a fireworks mortar coincided with the restructure of regulations concerning display fireworks in the State of Queensland, Australia. This new Code of Practice for the Display of Outdoor Fireworks has a requirement for manufacturers of equipment to develop performance-based tests that will prove the safety and suitability of plant and equipment used. The authorities proposed that a mortar tube was to be given a service life of five years. This article describes a protocol that has been successfully put into practice to test the new mortar tube. The protocol is called the Five Year Accelerated Test Program or “FYATP”.

Keywords: mortar, plastic tube, service life, polyethylene mortar

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Fireworks Shells Subjected To a Modified Height-To-Detonation Test
E. Contestabile, R. Guilbeault, D. Wilson, and B. von Rosen Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory (CERL), Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Abstract: Initiation of fireworks articles, as by a fire, can result in communication to adjacent articles and at times transition to a mass explosion. Such an event can be catastrophic. In a quest to discover the process by which this transition occurs and thereby work to mitigate it so as to prevent the dire consequences, a series of research programs was established. This paper reports the findings of attempts to cause communication within a linear array of fireworks shells confined in steel pipes and to measure the shell-to-shell communication rate. The array of shells was initiated with an explosive booster charge.

The findings indicate that such an array, with the given confinement and initiation stimulus, is not conducive to the sympathetic initiation of the tested fireworks shells.

Keywords: height-to-detonation, HtD, fireworks aerial shell, VoD probe, rate of propagation, RoP, explosion test

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Communications :
  • A Simplified Method for Determining the Strength of a Tube Subjected to Internal Pressure by L. Weinman
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  • Review by John Steinberg of: Amateur Rocket Motor Construction David Sleeter

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  • Review by K. Koenig of: Rocket Propulsion Elements, Seventh Edition by George P. Sutton, Oscar Biblarz

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    Last updated 21-Jan-2009