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Black powder VS Flash powder


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#1 wjames

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 04:35 PM

Hi there folks. im a newbie on this forum so go easy !!!!

ive been experimenting over the past few months, making simple "r-candy" rockets, fountains and the like. also, ive been making batches of black powder, with varying results....mainly due to my lack of a ball mill ( using M+P for grinding) i had considered one, but room, and hiding it from my mrs is an issue. i have no garage !

i had't ventured further, due to a lack of finding a decent supplier of chemicals, but, after a little effort, im now using " tim's pyro "
prices are decent (in my opinion) with most things availible.

i'm ordering
500 grams magnesium powder (11)500 grams aluminuim powder granules (10)

both are around 300 mesh.

i'll be using KN03, which im hoping to grind down to the same mesh ( is this suitible? ) ive got a mesh stack, but making 300 mesh with a morter+pestle is hard work ! will a little isoprop help me here ?

i also have 99.9 pure S - its like icing sugar !
pleanty of 350 mesh willow air float Im looking to be making some reports for my rockets, as well as some "puloma's" -sorry if i spelled that wrongly, and some simple "bangers/firecrakers" My questions are: is flash powder likely to prove a decent alternitive to black powder, for use in making "reports/noise) ?what differences will there be between using A and M in the flash? ( im well aware that M burns much quicker, but does that stand so in a composition)what would be a sensible quantity of flash powder to make in a batch ( i normally make 50G bp at a time)?
how is best to store flash powder, i presume its going to be more sensitive than my bp.?
how long will it remain useable for in storage?


and last but not least....anyone use titanuim in thier fountains ??? if so, whats it like ( other than expensive!)




thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any replies.

#2 portfire

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 05:12 PM

Hi wjames, and welcome.

Regarding Black powder VS Flash powder, There's no comparison at ALL. Flash powder (in any form) is sensitive to friction, shock, static. It's MUCH more powerful than BP, even slighty confined will cause a loud report. My advice is to stay clear of the stuff for now, and focus on improving your BP.

Ti is widely used in Pyro, It creates lovely long lasting bright white sparks, perfect for stars, fountains etc. They are many great effects you can make with the 3 chems+Metalic powders. Search the forum and you'll find many great effects other than flash.

http://www.pyrosocie.......5&start=225

Posts 230 and 231 B)

Dean

Edited by portfire, 28 August 2008 - 05:16 PM.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own" Adam Savage

#3 Arthur Brown

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 06:46 PM

Stronly advise you to avoid flash for the first year of active hobby. Also it might be better to get your partner's approval. the MESS with airfloat is too noticeable! Get a shed and get her approval to do things -well at least tell her that you are going to do it! Spilling BP or airfloat charcoal or lampblack will NOT go un noticed. There is no avioding spilling stuff sometime 400mesh stuff blows around anyway ( called airfloat for a reason!) the new graphite look will not be her choice of kitchen decor! Buy a Ball mill! reliable powder comes from reliable ingredients and a M+P really doesn't cut it.
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#4 wjames

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:29 PM

her knowing is not an option. !!!!!

i know what you mean about air float.........

so everyones saying to stay clear of flash......i was looking forward to it..

so, what to do with 500g of powdered mag.......

out of interest, i made a smoke b**b the other day......and, as i was in the" experimenting mood" i decided that adding 5% carbon + 5% S could be interesting....melted my kno3 + sugar.....let it cool slightly, added the carbon + s......let it set.


all im saying is WOW !

#5 digger

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:34 PM

I have to agree with the other posts. Get some experience before playing with flash powder, also do plenty of reading about the incompatibilities between different chemicals. For instance magnesium powder is very reactive stuff and if it is uncoated then using a water binding system could lead to unwanted reaction and even ignition.

Stay safe.

D
Phew that was close.

#6 Bonny

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:36 PM

her knowing is not an option. !!!!!

i know what you mean about air float.........

so everyones saying to stay clear of flash......i was looking forward to it..

so, what to do with 500g of powdered mag.......

out of interest, i made a smoke b**b the other day......and, as i was in the" experimenting mood" i decided that adding 5% carbon + 5% S could be interesting....melted my kno3 + sugar.....let it cool slightly, added the carbon + s......let it set.


all im saying is WOW !


For the flash...keep looking forward to it, and once you have a lot of experience, and have researched A LOT, then it might be time to try some. Flash does have its uses but so many wonderful things can be built without it, and even some items where it is commonly used (as a booster) can be done (almost) as well with other safer comps. Save the Mg for then.

As for the partner not knowing...good luck with that :rolleyes:

#7 wjames

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 07:41 PM

so, even a small batch of puloma's isnt clever then.


i will take the advise on board.....

just fancied some larger "bangs"

what mesh would you be looking for in a decent BP - would 250 be aceptable ?

Edited by wjames, 28 August 2008 - 07:43 PM.


#8 Shake

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:37 PM

The very issue that a comparison between BP and Flash is being made demonstrates the need for significant research. They are SO different! It is great that you have asked the question, but PLEASE proceed with caution.
My first experience with flash was terrifying (and a little exciting), I really didn't believe what I read about how powerful it can be!

The fact that you need to hide your hobby from the Mrs. is also concerning from a safety point of view. It is hardly fair to be practicing pyro near people who are not aware of the hazards. Many of the chems used present serious health hazards in addition to the obvious hazards when combined.

Good Luck but please be careful and read, read, read!
Fireworks are paint brushes for the night sky...with a few bloody huge BOOMS thrown in for good measure!

#9 wjames

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 09:18 PM

to clear that up.....i store ALL my chems in sealed containers, all labeled, all with danger stickers on.
they are kept in a 1/2 inch thick steel safe, of which only i know the combination.


i don't mix them until im ready for using them, and i dont mix them in my house.
i always wear a s10 respirator when there is a risk of being "blown up" or breathing in dust - i also wear 1/8th inch kevlar gauntlets.

i say thats being fairly safe.......



perhaps i'll make 5 grams up, split it into 2 lots, and try it in some small tubes, with 20 second fuses.


although i AM being put off by people telling me its very very sensitive.......is it REALLY that sensitive. someone told me that bp was sensitive once....yet he continued to put it into a 5 tonne press......

for example, if i gently mix kno3 + M using the diaper method, then immediatly transfer them to a pre capped+fused "m-80" tube. then cap the other end......

realistically, whats the chances it going wrong........



thanks for all the info/advice guys..........

Edited by wjames, 28 August 2008 - 09:19 PM.


#10 bwdoz

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 09:31 PM

they are kept in a 1/2 inch thick steel safe, of which only i know the combination.

I'm open to correction, but that sounds an awful lot like a really effective b**b casing if you kept mixed compositions in it. Might be worth noting the HSE storage regulations for BP etc - locked plywood boxes rather than steel etc.

#11 MDH

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 09:33 PM

Black powder can make a decent report compared to flash powder but the effort one has to go through in order to make it as loud may not be a good trade off.

If you don't need to use flash then I don't recommend that you do.

A composition which is excellent for thick walled reports is:

Potassium Nitrate, 50
Sulfur, 25
Charcoal (Willow or faster grade), 25

The chinese used to use this composition in firecrackers ("Pyrotechnics" by George W. Weingart). I myself have personally found that in small quantities it still makes a very solid sound.

If you make a thick walled tube and twine it with 3mm thick jute string you can probably make a decent bang without using flash powder.

#12 wjames

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:13 PM

I'm open to correction, but that sounds an awful lot like a really effective b**b casing if you kept mixed compositions in it. Might be worth noting the HSE storage regulations for BP etc - locked plywood boxes rather than steel etc.





i don't keep anything mixed in it.......im not that daft.

#13 minalth

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:15 PM

realistically, whats the chances it going wrong........


Read, read, and read more. If you search the forums there are lots of posts about flash, and many safety issues are covered.
For example, small amounts of static electricity can easily ignite flash, and 5g of flash can do serious injury, even without being contained.

search the forums for links to flash injury pictures, they aren't pretty.

Don't want to put you off pyro, its a great hobby, just using flash!
If you must argue, remember that it is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

#14 Arthur Brown

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:28 PM

The problem lies with the power and the brissance of the bang. BP if it explodes will burn you and shake you. 10G of flash will fray the ends of your arms where the fingers once were, it's that serious. Also there is no value in permanganate flash it is too unreliable.

If you must make flash then 70/30 KClO4/Al is a fair start. Laid out thinly on a hard flat surface it is very bright as it flashes with some smoke, almost no noise. Confined as little as a paper bag the flash goes and the bang develops, confined as much as an M-80 then the VoD approaches that of a high explosive it will take hands and fingers off blow craters in the ground, and make a LOT of noise. AND Get you NOTICED. Try hiding from the partner a crater and some smashed patio doors.
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#15 wjames

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:56 PM

right then. looks like its out of the game.

i'll make plans for a large fountain. with 1/2 a kilo of mag powder in it.

perhaps some thermite is in order.

i have some iron oxide come to think of it......hmmmmmm.


thanks once again folks.

i have many more questions, so i'll be back again.

back to the mortor and pestle i guess.




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