Ammonium perchlorate is not only used as a rocket propellant, but also as an oxidizer in the fireworks industry. Actually, nowadays this chemical substance is more commonly used in fireworks and missiles for its simplicity and easy way to use. Have you ever wondered how fireworks work?
It is believed that the first fireworks were created in China with just bamboo and fire. The way it worked was very simple: a person would throw a bamboo stalk to the fire, making it explode because of the overheating inside the air pockets of the bamboo stalk. This process was used to scare off evil spirits and protect themselves.
However, this happened a long time before the actual fireworks were created: it wasn´t until between the year 600 or 900 A.D. when, in China, an alchemist mixed potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal, achieving the first gunpowder that was used to fill bamboo sticks, having fireworks as a result.
Although they were created during the first century, they didn´t arrive to Europe until de 13th century, being used for religious ceremonies, for festivals, public parties and, in general, for entertainment. In this way, their uses went from making their castles glow with the light of the fireworks for attracting people to different political speeches.
What are the components of fireworks? How do fireworks get their colours? What are the different roles of every compound that we can find in fireworks?
Fireworks work by using a mixture of fuel, an oxidizer, a binder, a chlorine donor and a colour producer:
As we stated in the last parragraph, fireworks colours are achieved by using metal compounds that produce different colours when burned. Some of the metals used with this aim are the ones that follow:
The use of ammonium perchlorate in pyrotechnics is related to its oxidizer characteristics. In this way, as we could read before, fireworks have an oxidizer element, being this one a chlorate or a perchlorate. Commonly, ammonium nitrate and ammonium perchlorate are used with this aim. The way it works is by burning, creating oxygen that mixes with the fuel, helping the firework leave the ground thanks to the thrust force produced. Another use of ammonium perchlorate in pyrotechnics is chlorine donor to accentuate the colours of the fireworks created.
In Aldebarán Sistemas S.L. we produce, manufacture and distribute ammonium perchlorate with different uses, above all for the military industry and pyrotechnics. We are capable of helping you to achieve your goals in this matter by delivering an outstanding service, just contact us and we will provide you more information!