Chlorate Compositions in Quickmatch

K.L. and B.J Kosanke

After the 1999 PGI convention, the authors were told about a type of quick match that had been sold at the convention and which was suspected of being made using a chlorate oxidizer. The individual’s suspicion was based on his perception of its extremely fast burn rate. Subsequently, a sample of that fuse was spot tested and found to contain a nitrate but not a chlorate. Sometime later, the authors were given a sample of quick match thought to be of the same type. The burn rate of the quick match was observed to be most vigorous; however, there was not a sufficient amount for the authors to make a usefully quantitative measurement of its burn rate. Small amounts of the composition were removed from the black match portion of this fast burning quick match, and two tests for the presence of chlorate were performed. The first test was the concentrated hydrochloric acid test, in which a few drops of the acid are placed on the composition. The presence of a chlorate is revealed by a modest rate of chlorine dioxide gas production, with its characteristic color and odor.[1,2] The second test was the analine-HCl spot test, in which some of the composition is dissolved in a tiny amount of water, the water is decanted and treated with a drop of analine-HCl test reagent.[1,3] The presence of a chlorate is revealed by the appearance of first a red then blue color. Again, both test results were negative for the presence of a chlorate. Accordingly, another possible explanation for the vigorous burn rate of the quick match was sought.

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 6, (2001-2002), pp 35-37

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