Reviews

Book Review Firework Displays: Explosive Entertainment

By: Dr. Tom Smith

Published by: Chemical Publishing Company – www.chemical-publishing.com
ISBN: 978-0-8206-0064-2 (B&W Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0-8206-0064-1 (Color Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0-8206-0064-8 (eBook)

More information please click here

This book gives a very comprehensive overview of the world of fireworks. It comprises – amongst others – information on historical developments of firework displays, introduces the large variety of(sub-) types and categories, identifies possible hazards to be considered during the planning offirework displays and gives recommendations in case of accidents/incidents.

Especially the description of the probabilistic approach of assessing risks (based on hazards in combination with frequencies) highlights a promising alternative in a field that seems currently be dominated by simple deterministic methods in many countries. Moreover, the book provides information on latest legislationas well as standardisation aspects and gives guidance on the fireworks event planning not only to the users (with or without specialist knowledge) but also to the enforcers, who are dealing with the assessments of professional firework displays prior to the permission of these.

It should therefore be considered, to include this book in respective national training courses, which form the basis of licensing systems with regard to the training of “persons with specialist knowledge” in Europe. Taking this into account, it is recommended to translate this book to other languages in order to allow a broader community to share the information provided in this book.

Reviewed by Dr. Christian Lohrer

2010 ACS Calendar

The American Chemical Society have publsihed, online and in hard copy, their 2010 “Colors of Chemistry” calendar.

January references the Journal of Pyrotechnics paper Copper in Pyrotechnics

It is well worth a download of the calendar, or seeing if you can get a hard copy – it contains some nice images

Book Review: Initiation of Explosives & Pyrotechnic Materials

By: Jean-Rene Duguet – R&D Manager and Consultant in Pyrotechnics.
Preface by: Dr Attie Goosen
Published by: Cultures et Techniquescultures.techniques@hotmail.fr
ISBN: 978-2-918209-02-7
Price: 50Euros

This small paperback book is packed with information on the chemistry and mechanics of initiation and has extensive chapters on:-

  • General outline
  • Explosives and Production Processes
  • Initaitors and Related Devices
  • Metrology and Safety

There is extensive detail of the physical characteristics of initiating substances, together with formulations and a good section on sensitivity of various initiating explosives.  However the book is somewhat frustrating in so much that the scale and clarity of diagrams and images varies widely, and chemical formulae are inconsistently portrayed.  It is also expensive for a 221page paperback (50 Euros) and I felt that I could have certainly lived with a smaller and more consistent typeface throughout if it left more room for bigger diagrams or had reduced the size and price of the book as a result.

Nevertheless I would recommend this book for the bookshelves of practitioners in almost any area of pyrotechnics and explosives – initiation is often poorly understood, and this book does much to inform the reader in this most important subject.

Reviewed by Dr Tom Smith – Davas Ltd

Grass Tree Gum – Reprint of 1858 Article

The following was brought to our attention by Barry Sturman.

It originally appeared in Quarterly Journal and Transactions of the Pharmaceutical Society of Victoria, Vol. 1, No. 3 (1858) pp 119–120.

CORRESPONDENCE.  GRASS TREE GUM—(AUSTRALIAN DRAGON’S BLOOD) Letter from Dr. McCrea, Chief Medical Officer. C. M. O. Office, Melbourne, 23rd May, 1858.

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Ref: JPyro, Issue 16, 2002, pp 76-77
(J16_76)

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Review of: Black Powder Manufacturing, Testing, and Optimizing – Ian von Maltitz

Black Powder Manufacturing, Testing, and Optimizing
Ian von Maltitz

Review by J Bergman

As Mr. von Maltitz states in the preface, this work is not merely a second edition of his earlier book, Black Powder Manufacture, Methods and Techniques, as reviewed in Journal of Pyrotechnics No. 7 (Summer 1998). Despite similarities in its content and organization, the new book has been overhauled from cover to cover and has been greatly expanded. This rewriting reflects recent changes in approaches to smallscale powder making and testing methods, as well as a substantial body of new practical knowledge.

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Ref: JPyro, Issue 18, 2003, pp74-75
(J18_74)
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Preface to Three Reviews of Pyrotechnics – A P Hardt

Pyrotechnics
A P Hardt

Reviews by B. E. Douda, S. D. Poehlein & S. K. Wilharm and B. Sturman

On occasion, when a book to be reviewed has special significance, we have included more than one reviewer’s comments about it. In the present case we are including three reviews by authors with differing backgrounds, and thus viewing the book from differing perspectives. The first short review was written by one of the persons participating in the publication of the book, and for that reason he thought it inappropriate for him to write a detailed technical review. The second short review was written by a pair of authors relatively new to the field of military pyrotechnics. The third review was written as a more complete technical review of the book. Generally, as a courtesy, book reviews to be published in the Journal of Pyrotechnics are sent to the author, with an offer to publish any comments or response they wish to make. In this case, since the primary author is deceased, the reviews comments were received from a representative of the book’s publisher, permission was not granted for those comments to be published.

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Ref: JPyro, Issue 18, 2003, pp66-74
(J18_66)
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Review of: Proximate Special Effects Familiarization & Safety – J. Larry Mattingly, David A. Opperman, MD, Francis “Pinky” Pinkerton

Review of: Proximate Special Effects Familiarization & Safety 
J. Larry Mattingly, David A. Opperman, MD, Francis “Pinky” Pinkerton

Review by Stephen Miller M.I.Exp.E.,

After many years of drought, the rain is falling for those praying for a basic technical reference book on stage pyrotechnics. The stage and special effects industry as a whole has been lacking a good, well written, reference book that is actually of use to the technician (there are plenty of titles aimed at the general public, but too few aimed at the practising technician). Although “Britain and America are two countries kept apart by a common language”, I have to say that I am rather impressed. The book is well laid out with chapters devoted to ‘Professionalism, Responsibility & Licensing’, ‘General Application Information’ (including security, permits, local inspectors and of course safety). I rarely have a good thing to say about the state of UK explosives law, but having read these chapters, I now realise that the problems I face are nothing in comparison to those tackled regularly by US technicians.

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Ref: JPyro, Issue 17, 2003, pp 80-81
(J17_80)

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Review of: Ignition Handbook – Vytenis Babrauskas

Review of: Ignition Handbook 
Vytenis Babrauskas

Review by K. L. Kosanke

What an incredible reference text, especially to have been assembled by a single author. The book has 1116 large format pages (8.5 by 11 inches), is printed on high quality paper and sturdily bound, is well indexed (36 pages), is very thoroughly referenced (one chapter has 2154 references) and sells for only $198

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Ref: JPyro, Issue 19, 2004, pp 74
(J19_74)

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Comment on: “Review of Pyrotechnics” that appeared in Issue 18, Winter 2003

Ron Lancaster

In the late 1960s there was only Weingart’s Pyrotechnics, and it was a suggestion of a rewrite to the Publisher that led to my own first edition in 1972. As we have grown in experience there have been two further editions. It has been interesting to see how many little bits of new information first published in those times are now taken as commonplace.

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Ref: JPyro, Issue 19, 2004, pp 73
(J19_73)

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Review of: Rocket Propulsion Elements, Seventh Edition – George P. Sutton, Oscar Biblarz

Rocket Propulsion Elements, Seventh Edition
George P. Sutton, Oscar Biblarz

Review by K. Koenig

The seventh edition continues the high standards of this long-running text. The analysis, although a little sparse, is clearly presented. As in the previous editions, there is an abundance of figures and tables. And there is much information on practical design and operation issues. These features make this book suitable for undergraduate and graduate instruction as well as highly useful for practicing engineers.

The book’s twenty chapters form four substantial major groupings. Chapters 1 to 5 provide, in order, introductions to rocket propulsion methods, terminology, fluid mechanics, rocket flight performance and chemistry. The chapter on heat transfer that appeared in the introductory material of previous editions has been removed with some of its material merged into other sections of the book. Chapters 1 and 5 are particularly helpful in teaching rocket propulsion to undergraduates who have had basic thermodynamics and compressible flow.

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Ref: JPyro, Issue 20, 2004, pp 74-75
(J20_74)

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