HDPE Mortars for Electrically Fired Displays

When firing by hand, the problems of steel mortars can easily be over-looked. However, even for relatively small electrically fired displays, steel mortars and the usual alternatives (paper and PVC mortars) have limitations that are difficult to cope with. Steel mortars are heavy; when several hundred may be needed for a show, their weight can easily exceed 5000 pounds. This may necessitate the use of a large truck and must certainly be seen as undesirable by the crew that will need to handle them several times. Service life is long, but high initial cost (about $1/pound) is another problem. Finally, even though steel mortars are quite strong, there is the possibility that a shell detonation may cause the production of dangerous mortar debris.

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 1, (1981-1989), pp 80-84

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