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Member Since 09 Feb 2005
Offline Last Active Jun 10 2005 03:10 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Fireworks Magazine Article

10 May 2005 - 08:59 PM

Good luck on getting the regulations changed. And good luck on the magazine venture as well - its always good to see the information about the hobby become more widespread.

In Topic: Synthisis Of Potassium Perchlorate

23 March 2005 - 04:43 PM

I wonder how well diamond would work? Diamond coated tools are becoming common, but I haven't heard of anyone trying it for this type of purpose as yet.

Thin diamond films will conduct electricity just as graphite will, but its much more strongly bound to the cubic lattice.


In Topic: Dangers of soluble Barium salts

18 March 2005 - 04:47 AM

Arsenic and Lead in pyro aren't likely to be acute poisons, but soluble forms have roughly the same acute toxicity as soluble barium compounds.  They aren't really *that* toxic.  However I'd much rather be poisoned by Barium, it is easy to treat and leaves no long-term effects.  Months of chelation therapy for heavy metal poisoning isn't very pleasent at all, and the neurological damage is pretty much permanent while the metabolic effects of Barium are gone in a day and the skeleton deposition is nothing to really worry about.

One thing I've always wondered is why sparklers aren't more controlled.  There is a lethal dose of Barium Nitrate in a box of sparklers.  And chewing on a single sparkler could do in a small animal or child.  I guess they don't taste too nice, but I could see a child or dog chewing on one.

I too can't believe how easy it is to get Vanadium Pentoxide, it is horrendously toxic and a pretty colour too.

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Many years ago I managed to get myself into enough arsenate of lead to get sick from it. It wasn't much fun, but it was over with pretty quickly, I didn't get that much of a dose. I haven't trusted any lead compounds since.

They still apply it to golf courses in the US for grub control.

In Topic: Dangers of soluble Barium salts

17 March 2005 - 03:18 PM

My point is that extreme measures aren't warranted with the usual pyro chems.

Potters use manganese, barium and strontium compounds with bare hands dipped into slurried chemicals, and seem to survive. It takes years of heavy exposure for a potter to get the manganese shakes.

I've severe doubts that anyone here is using that much of these compunds on a daily basis.

By all means, a simple dust mask should be worn when mixing dry barium or stontium or manganese compounds - expecially if the compound in question is a dust. A heavy duty chemical respirator is generally for aromatics, alcohol or acetone or perchloroethylene - and isn't good protection against dusts unless you add a dust filter cartridge over the usual chemical filters that most come provided with. They are expensive and the filters are expensive, and I can't see where the use is indicated for this level of exposure. (I do presume that we all have a day job, so to speak. Slight exposure every couple of weeks is not the same thing at all as heavy exposure every working day.) Paper masks are cheap, and generally take out 95% or more of any dusts, which is going to cut you down to almost zero exposure.

Given the nature of the compounds in question, a full plastic face shield is appropriate when pressing or ramming anything, and I hope everyone here knows that. A full body shield between you and a heavily pressed compound is something I'd call necessary too, but I'd wear the face shield anyhow.

As for lead or arsenic compounds - the use just isn't warranted any more. They are far more poisonous than the usual barium/strontium compounds, and there just isn't any justification for resurrecting those old comps at this time. For them, heavy protection levels would be more indicated.

MOF, I'd be more worried about inhaling some of the metallic dusts than inhaling a tiny bit of barium dust. Those metallic dusts aren't very toxic per se, but they play the very devil in your lungs. Lung nodules are no joke. Physical damage can be worse than chemical damage.

In a general sort of way, the most toxic chemicals commonly used in pyro are the color producing chemicals, next come the oxidizers, and finally the fuels.

That's before mixing, of course. After mixing it still isn't safe to eat, but it should be bound well enough to prevent dangerous amounts of dust from coming off the material.

As for the lead dioxide anode business, I have no intention of handling that stuff whatsoever, especially not as a powder glued to a plastic rod and then plated over in a lead nitrate bath, with a corroded copper connection on top of it. Just looking at the images of those things make me nervous. Which is what got me into the anode experimentation business in the first place, trying to find alternatives that can be produced by the home experimenter that will not be so poisonous that a child or dog finding one is nearly a sentence of death.

In Topic: Synthisis Of Potassium Perchlorate

15 March 2005 - 02:34 AM

It just came to me that the major reason for the conductive oxide plating might be avoided if graphite was used for the substrate!

If graphite was electroplated in this fashion, it would stop the shredding and damage done by the anodic attack from the chlorine. The chlorine would be sealed away from the graphite by the MnO2 coating.

Given the amperage in this procedure:

The Ti mesh was then centered between two It rod cathodes (3/8" diameter) in a plating bath consisting of MnSO.sub.4 for Examples 27 through 29 and Mn(NO.sub.3).sub.2 for Examples 30 through 37. The anodes were plated with MnO.sub.2 according to the data of Table 2 below. Following the electroplating the anode was baked. This procedure yielded a surface coverage as stipulated MnO.sub.2. The electrode was polarized anodically at a current density of 0.75 A/cm.sup.2 in a solution of 150 gpl H.sub.2 SO.sub.4 at 50.degree. C. to derive the lifetime data shown in Table 2 below. (drat, wrong example, I meant the current in #25)

I'd think the manganese dioxide would cover the graphite rapidly enough to prevent damage sufficient to shred away the manganese coating.

IOW, if the pyrolusite crystals grow rapidly enough to cover the graphite and protect it, we could manufacture anodes for almost nothing! Plate them for a couple of days, then flip and plate some more, then on to the baking. I don't think graphite ignites at 400C, even if it does there is a potters trick that will protect it from being oxidized.

This is most certainly worth a try, we'll never know if we don't try.

Manganese sulfate is cheap and easy to get, graphite is pretty easy too. I've got to know if this will work.