CAUTION: Very Fast “Black Match”

K. L. and B. J. Kosanke

There is a new style of black match used to make the quick match leader fuse on some Chinese products. The fuse has recently been found on some Flower Basket aerial shells and Lidu display fireworks boxes and may also be used on other items as well. While this new black match seems to function well in quick match, it has one characteristic that is important to note for safety reasons. Where normal black match tends to burn rather slowly at about an inch per second, this new black match burns very much faster, perhaps as fast as quick match (roughly 10–20 feet per second). Because of this much faster burn rate, it is possible for someone to have a serious problem. For example, if the end of a shell leader fuse were damaged, someone might attempt a repair by cutting off some of the damaged shell leader and then exposing a few inches of this new black match. In this case, the person may have the expectation that lighting the tip of the newly exposed fuse would provide a few seconds before the item would function. However, instead, the fireworks could begin to function essentially immediately upon ignition of the tip of the leader fuse.

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 5, (1998-2000), pp 82-84

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