Instructables
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Flash powder is the universal composition for almost all pyrotechnic reports. Bottle rockets, thunderbombs, m-80's, shells, everything. If it is not enclosed in a container then a bright flash along with a lot of smoke will be produced as shown in the picture. If it is enclosed in a container, even the smallest amounts will produce a loud report and a violent explosion.
If you are going to use this to make fireworks please note that fireworks must be legal in your state, you might need some sort of license, and that you can use no more then 50 milligrams per firecracker ANYWHERE no exceptions. Any firework that contains more then 50 milligrams is illegal in every state.
Flash powder was originally used for producing light for cameras about 100 years ago. You have probably seen something to this extent where a photographer holds a wooden handle with a flat platform on top, says look at the birdy, and poof he ignites the flash powder.
There are many different formulas for flash powder, I will explain the simplest one with the easiest chemicals to get your hands on.


 
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Step 1: Chemicals

The simplest formula for flash powder has only 2 components.

400-600 mesh aluminum powder. The mesh refers to the size of the particles in the powder, it may also be referred to by its actual particle size in microns. For micron size the smaller the number the smaller the particle, for mesh size the higher the number the smaller the particle. A general rule of thumb - the smaller the particle the better. Can be bought on e-bay.

Potassium perchlorate - it is the oxidizer in the reaction. It is getting harder and harder to come by, the CPSC is trying to outlaw many different chemicals, and potassium perchlorate is high on their priority list. As of this writing it can still be bought on unitednuclear.com.
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SherpaDoug1 year ago
Is this the sort of flash powder that would have been used by 1900's era photographers? I am looking for max flash with minimal bang, smoke, etc.
bigcheeze7 years ago
I live in Canada and united nuclear/skylighter.com don't deliver there and I can't find stump remover PLEASE HELP MEEEEEEE!!!!
I NEED HELP TOO! Live in BC, and can't find any suppliers.
look at what i said to bigcheeze
you can get most of what you need at Buckerfields, stump remover is salt-peter and for stuff like Al-powder we have Compounding Pharmacy. just google fertilizer stores and compounding pharmacist in you aria.
late reaction but to make aluminum powder u just blend up tin foil until it is extremly fine and then to make potassium perchlorate pretty much in short mix matches with boiling water put through coffee filter mix with some boiled down hydrogen peroxide and small amount of ammonia based cleaner........ (that was the short version) look it up on youtube it is pretty easy
Saltpetre in a healthfood store or pharmacy? thats where I got mine... also i think ebay sells it.
well..I can't find it so there! and saltpeter is my second choice.
is Saltpeter solid Potassium perchlorate or do you have to remove other stuff from it?
no potassium perchlorate is totally different from saltpeter(potassium nitrate),there both oxidizers only differences are the chemical makeup and saltpeter leaves a bit of residue (molten salt)but solidifies in seconds
but it will work just as well as the Potassium perchlorate.
no where near the same thing salt petre to potassium perchlorate is a fire cracker to a stick of dynomite.perchlorate is a much much much stronger oxidizer
correct.
go to lowes or home depot or walmart and buy spectricide brand stump remover over 97% kno3 grants stump remover works well 2
but spectricide stump remover is liquid. does that matter?
what pharmacy did you you find it at?
crystal in Ca
were in Canada do you live?
edmonton,alberta.why?
I have been having trouble finding Potassium perchlorate but i have loads of KNO3 for making smoke bombs. would it still work well if i replaced the Potassium perchlorate with KNO3??
what i use for my flash powder is i go to a hobby store and buy about 10 of the biggest model rocket engines they have and then i put about 3 at a time into a trash bag [if you do this make sure there the black industrial bags they usually say "CONTRACTOR BAGS" buy at home depot or menards ] and take a hammer and hit them as hard as i can and do this to all of the engines and then i take all of the powder and put it into a plastic bag and then wrap alot of duct tape around it and put some fuse [about one foot of it because these things r HUGE] and then i lite it and run like hell.
D-B,
Those engines are basically black powder. How you have managed not to blow yourself up is beyond me. If you want that kind of thing, get the real ingredients: Salt-peter (canning salt), sulfur and charcoal. Grind them carefully and seperately into a fine powder. Use some screen mesh to even out/filter the particles. DO NOT hit them to grind them up. A mortar and pestil or carefully grinding on the mesh. The finer the powder the better the result. Experiment with the proportions. . .they can be found on the net. WARNING: BLACK POWDER IS CONSIDERED AN EXPLOSIVE. IT IS VOLITILE, UNPREDICTABLE AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Like I said. . .why you haven't blown yourself up yet is a mystery to me. . .be careful and have. . . .fun.
im pretty sure if a rocket engine was made out of flash powder it would just explode if you tried to ignite it.
thats black powder, right? if you using estes engines its black powder, or aerotech is composite. If its composite then alot of it is ammonium percholate.
uh.. rocket engines are not flash powder..
don't crush the nozzle.
Aron3132 years ago
How do you get it to bee water proof?
hey are these ingrediants cheap? and easy to get?

yes
awsome thanks
thing 23 years ago
I thought this was the kind that you throw on the ground...... :(
I want to make some that the movie ninjas use...
well in that case go on youtube and search Kipkay, you may have heard of him, one of his recent videos was slammin ninja smokebombs. throw them at the ground and the explode in smoke and light. so search "slamming ninja smoke bombs" on youtube
Thanks!
paver20094 years ago
can any one tell me how to make flash powder stronger
contain it in a stronger vessel. a stronger cardboard vessel, never put flash in metal unless you don't appreciate having your testicles. the strongest paper tube i've ever found is dollar store shrink wrap rolls. The flash has to overcome the back pressure produced by the vessel which gives higher pressure upon rupture. you need nothing more powerful than perchlorate flash powder. don'[t screw with nitrate or permanganate flashes, they'll kill you, a really good flash powder with high yeild is cooked golden powder. ammonium nitrate and magnesium might be an acception to the danger rule, at least not as dangerous but i would stay away. to determine how much power you'll get you need to know how to write out a balanced chemical reaction equation, from that you can determine the number of moles of gas that are produced and the temperature of that gas. YOu want the reactants that will produce the most gas in the most exothermic reaction. Its been a while but i think magnesium and potassium nitrate, or permanganate gives the highest yeild, someone please correct me if you are more current with your calculations, its been years for me.
if you put it in a stronger vessel it isnt louder it has a snap sound to it i was looking for a boom sound im looking for the big boom sound like the big fire works you watch and here some fire works you here are loud even 20 grams of pp flash isnt that loud i tryed amon p and that isnt even that loud how do thay get that big boom in fire works
If you are talking about the burst charge that is accomplished by coating rice hulls with black powder and putting it in the middle of the shell. That creates a very deep boom. Anything other than weak binary heaving charges would just blow the shell contents to hell and they would be ineffective as fireworks. Reports and salutes are generally perchlorate and aluminum flash and don't require a burst charge, it just depends what kind of fireworks you are talking about.
just put more powder in to what ever your making allways work for me :L
10 grams and 20 grams sound the same if you go to the fire works the boom in them is loud and you can feel it how is that flash that strong
nonickname4 years ago
Are you sure your Al powder is 2 micron? You state 400 mesh, which is ~38 micron. If that's 2 micron, it will surely make extremely hot flash.
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