Quantification of Visible Aerosols from Pyrotechnics: Metal and Metal Compound Additives

Rene Yo Abe, Yoshiaki Akutsu, Akihiro Shimada and Takehiro Matsunaga

Abstract: The effect of metal and metal compounds commonly used in pyrotechnics on visible aerosol development at high relative humidity has been investigated in combustion experiments using a combustion chamber. Ammonium perchlorate/ hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene as oxidant/fuel system allowed aerosols generated from the additives to be observed in the absence of particles generated from the base composite. For magnesium and magnalium and all flame coloring agents except barium nitrate, light extinction measurements at 80% relative humidity were found to be proportional to the mass concentration of hygroscopic metal compound particles which are formed at high temperatures from metal chloride or metal vapors during combustion. Low visible aerosol development under humid conditions was observed for aluminium and titanium which have higher boiling points than magnesium and do not readily vaporize during combustion, as well as for barium nitrate which forms too small hygroscopic barium chloride particles and iron(iii) oxide which, because of its low boiling point, forms coarser iron(iii) chloride particles at lower temperatures.

Ref: JPyro, Issue 33, 2014, pp16-23 (J33-16)

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