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flash powder


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as i haven't posted in several months, just an intro. i work in the field of pyrotechnics as both a hobbyist, and a professional. in my occupation, one of the main compounds i come into contact with is flash powder. just a standard binary KClO4:Al flash powder with no adulterants.


as probably the majority of you know, this is a pretty dangerous substance if great care is not taken when mixing, storing...etc...so naturally, the industry has introduced a new flash powder product which is supposed to be "safer".


of course, "safer" is in the eye of the beholder, and honestly, upon confinement, this new product is just as dangerous as regular flash powder.


so here's my question. this product has a trade name, but no information is available on how to make it. several cohort amateur pyro's have reported seeing multiple different flake sizes of aluminum contained within the mixture under microscope. i have scoured the internet for information on this stuff, and what i've come up with, i believe to be an answer/solution.


it involves terephthalic acid or pentaerythritol as a primary fuel, KClO4 as an oxidiser, and presumably small quantities of flake Al as a potential catalyst. the product barely burns in the open, unconfined, and still deflagrates violently under confinement.


upon my suggestion of these reactants being present in this "new" product, i have been met with much doubt, and reassurance that the actual product is comprised of varying mesh sizes of aluminum.


my main questions are, how could i possibly explain the pressure dependant speed of reaction if the mix was simply aluminum and KClO4? how could i tell conventionally, if this product contains either terephthalic acid, or pentaerythritol? how does flash powder actually function? does the aluminum have to reach its melting point in order to decompose? what about the KClO4? do they both need to melt in order to initiate a reaction?


thanks in advance.


here's a sample video


this video apparently shows a mixture of pentaerythritol, KClO4, and a small quantity of aluminum.



and here is a video (please skip to 14:13) showing this "trade secret" flash powder substance. is there a scientific explanation as to why this aluminum product functions the way it does, even though it's still just aluminum and KClO4, just like regular flash?

Edited by r1dermon
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