Peak Mortar Pressures When Firing Spherical Aerial Shells

K. L. and B. J. Kosanke

The Pyrotechnics Committee of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently revised the Code for Fireworks Displays, NFPA 1123. The revised code included recommendations for wall thickness for fiberglass mortars and for larger sizes of high-density polyethylene mortars. In anticipation of the committee’s discussions of the needed strength of mortars, the authors decided to assemble data on typical peak mortar pressure as a function of aerial shell size. Because of the limited amount of data located, one could not be overly selective (i.e., essentially all available data was used[1–4]).  Obviously, it would have been preferred to have had an abundance of data for a wide range of typical shells fired under a wide range of known conditions. Nonetheless, the amount and type of data (136 measurements for spherical shells) is felt to be sufficient to establish approximate averages of peak mortar pressure for spherical aerial shells as a function of their size. This short article was prepared in the hope that some readers would find this data useful (or at least interesting).

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 5, (1998-2000), pp 116-117

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