Saturday, May 29, 2010

Make a Sparkler

Fireworks are a bit like food. They are made according to recipes. Sometimes spectacular results can be achieved from a simple recipe, using only a few basic ingredients. Just like sometimes you want to pop a frozen dinner in the microwave (or buy fireworks from a store), sometimes you want to make dinner (or make your own pyrotechnics). If you're feeling creative, try making your own sparkler. Who knows, you may discover a hidden passion for pyrotechnics


Sparklers are a handheld 'fireworks' that don't explode (pyrotechnic devices). They are easy to make, plus you can use your knowledge of chemistry to make colored fire.


Difficulty: Average

Time Required: minutes to make, several hours drying time

Here's How:

Mix the dry ingredients with enough dextrin solution to make a moist slurry. Include the strontium nitrate if you want a red sparkler or the barium nitrate if you want a green sparkler.

Dip the wires or sticks in the sparkler mixture. Be sure to leave enough uncoated space at one end to safely grasp the finished sparkler.

Allow the mixture to dry completely before igniting the sparkler.

Store sparklers away from heat or flame, and protected from high humidity.

Tips:

Source is L.P. Edel, "Mengen en Roeren", 2nd edition (1936), p.22, as cited from Wouter's Practical Pyrotechnics

Parts are by weight.

Be certain the sparkler is 'out' and cooled before discarding it. This is easily accomplished by dipping the stick in a bucket of water.

Firework use is restricted or prohibited in some areas. Please check your local laws before burning sparklers, whether you purchase them or make them yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment