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The Alchemist

Member Since 20 Apr 2004
Offline Last Active Feb 24 2005 07:11 AM

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    New Zealand
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    Display Pyrotechnics by R.L.Ansin.<br>I started making black powder at age eight, nearly fifty years ago. Things developed over time including many pyrotechnic failures and explosions as my construction and rockets ripped themselves to shreds.<br> Gaining considerable experience in commercial blasting, I obtained a unrestricted dept of Labour, construction blasters certificate in 1977 and have since undertaken all manner of specialty blasts.<br>I built my second powder mill in 1983, preferring to make a wheel mill. This powder has a much faster burn rate than ball milled powder. The mill consists of two 80 kg lead antimony alloy wheels rotating in an annulus ground into a large slab of fine grained granite. About one revolution every eight seconds.<br>The meal powder produced is used for fuse &quot;match&quot; and pyro. A large amount of that produced is pressed and granulated for cannon and mortar blowing grain. Also the finer fractions for BP weapons and of course star projection from candles. <br>I have taught pyrotechnic manufacture to several people including one that has now established his own manufacturing business.<br> In an effort to obtain raw materials I have set up an extensive synthesis operation producing both chlorates and perchlorates from salt. Peroxides and nitro cellulose.<br>By spray atomising metals produce fine metal shot which is later ball milled to flake. With specialised metal melting facilities I make magnalium and produce crushed titanium flake. <br> In over twenty five years of operating a BP mill I have only had three flashes, all occuring in one day. They were caused by fine quartz sand grains present in the pot nitrate being crushed, producing a high voltage discharge igniting the mill cake.<br> Otherwise I have not joined the three finger club.<br>Safety is of the utmost consideration in any pyrotechnic work.<br> Charcoal for BP is produced from Willow and other woods for a lasting spark. Lamp black a real curse is made by burning oil in a wet brick chamber and vaccuming it out.<br>Cardboard and glue after chemicals are the next most expensive items.<br>Prefering to buy card in 250 lb packs to get the best quantity discount for smaller purchases.. Pot nitrate from agricultural suppliers and pot chloride are all quite reasonably priced in bulk compared to buying smaller quantities from other suppliers. It is surprising how quickly you go through 25 kg of nitrate.<br> As yet I have not been able to produce a good jumping jack despite many years of trial. Brooks really had their act together on that one. Oh I loved the English fireworks available as a kid.<br> Kind regards<br> Ray Ansin<br> The Alchemist<br><br>

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