An Instrument for the Evaluation of Black Powder as a Propellant for Aerial Shells

K. L. & B. J. Kosanke

ABSTRACT: None of the standard laboratory tests for Black Powder provide a direct indication of its performance characteristics for propelling aerial fireworks shells. Typically such testing must be performed by firing dummy projectiles on a test range—with all the problems that can entail, including the use of fairly large amounts of Black Powder for each test sample. Accordingly, a small, inexpensive laboratory test apparatus was developed, which uses only a minimal amount of powder per firing. The performance of the instrument was quantified regarding the effect of operating temperature, sensitivity of output to variations in ignition point, the effects of combustion product accumulation in the bore of the apparatus, the effect of grain size distribution, and the statistical precision of the results. Following these characterizations, the instrument was used to evaluate the performance of a series of Black Powder samples


Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 4, (1995-1997), pp 63-77
(K4_63)


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