Tag Archives: Explosive material

How Do You Light 300 Big Rockets At Once

To celebrate hitting 1,000,000 YouTube subscribers, our good mate Colin Furze wanted some fireworks.

For those of you who are not familiar with Colin’s past adventures, he is a world-renowned British inventor and holder of many Guinness world records, all round top lad and a bit of a nutter (in a good way).

One word of warning, Colin is a seasoned professional DO NOT attempt to try anything featured in the video unless you are 100% sure you know exactly what you are doing, we accept no responsibility for any mishaps.

Mentioned in the video is “E match”, for those not familiar with these, these are a non-pyrogenic (no explosive materials involved) electronic clip which is attached to the fuse. When an electric charge is sent down the wire, this creates a spark, lighting the fuse and hey presto the firework is lit, but at a cost, and not practical on this occasion.

The obvious choice for Colin, who thinks on a bigger scale to most of us, was ….. A flame thrower – a bit like the flamethrower used by Fireball in the Running Man movie.

So how do you light 300 big rockets at once ???

Check out the video below of the #EpicFireworks team and #ColinFurze mass rocket launch 🙂

Well done Colin – Keep up the good work.

More crazy pictures of the mass rocket launch can be found here 🙂

Read all about it – http://epicfireworks.com/blog/2015/05/how-do-you-light-300-big-rockets-at-once/

A photo posted by Epic Fireworks (@epicfireworks) on

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Review Journal – YouTuber launches 300 rockets in 1M subscriber celebration video

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How Fireworks Work

How Fireworks Work !

How are fireworks made?

Rubber, plastic, penicillin, Teflon, super glue, Coca-Cola, Cornflakes, fireworks …. What’s the connection?

All these common products were invented accidentally!!

It is believed that around 2000 years ago a Chinese monk named Li Tian was mixing up some commonly used kitchen items. Saltpetre, also known as potassium nitrate (created from purifying poop!!) charcoal or possibly sugar as the fuel and sulphur in very specific quantities were all combined. The Chinese people named “Huo Yao” or fire chemical. This mixture became the basis for gun or black powder and hasn’t changed since and is still used today as a lift or burst charge for the “stars”.

Marco Polo was the first European to witness this new advance and immediately saw its potential passing it onto the crusaders in Europe to bring back over to the UK.

Roger Bacon, another monk and noted 13th-century alchemist first looked into the composition and concluded that the elements had very specific purposes. He concluded that charcoal or sugar was used as the fuel to enable the burn to take place, while saltpetre works as an oxidiser removing electrons from the equation, sulphur sits on the fence as a binder slowing down the nitrates reaction.

Add to this the holy grail for the passionate pyro professional …. FLASH POWDER. Flash powder burns at a much faster rate than black powder and is more common these days being added to the mix in the early 1900s and was used initially in ‘flash’ photography. The rules in relation to flash are simple, the more you use the faster the reaction. This may be a good time to mention that 1.3g fireworks can contain up to 25% flash powder whereas 1.4g only contains up to 5%. Ergo 1.3g is up to five times better. Add to the mix a few chemicals to give you some colour, Barium will give you a nice green starburst, where strontium will produce a vivid cherry red.

The stars (or to the non-pyro-head the effects) are made by combining the black powder with other elements, originally formed as a sort of slurry, they are then heated up to in some cases boiling point, then the additional chemicals to produce the different effects are added. This mix is then dried out and milled into balls or cut it cubes (think of an OXO cube and you are not far off). Pack the stars in a coat of black powder coated rice husks, pack tightly into a tube or shell casing and hey presto you have a firework.

Since the early 1500’s fireworks have been used to celebrate Royal weddings, birthdays, coronations and New Year (in fact any occasion you can possibly imagine has at some point been celebrated with fireworks) all from a relatively simple chemical reaction.

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Do you remember your first time?

Like a coming of age tradition, everybody can remember the first time they saw fireworks. Most men will remember the first time they had fireworks too. If you are older than 18 you may also remember bangers (sadly now banned). It seems that most people also had fireworks for the first time before the age of 18. It is something that has always attracted the younger males in society, the potential for blowing things up. In some countries, Spain for example, children are allowed to possess fireworks and use them in a public place as young as 10 years old. They are taught respect and safety measures and actively encouraged to use fireworks safely. In the UK we bombard them with danger posters and warning signs. Surely making the prospect of owning mini explosives all the more appealing? What is the correct age to start using fireworks?

Do you remember the first time you held a sparkler? writing your name in the night sky. Smelling the chemicals burn and fizz and indeed sparkle. What age was you? 4? 5? The legal minimum age for using sparklers in the UK is 5 and anyone under the age of 18 must be supervised. That said sparklers cause more injuries than any other fireworks every year and are glowing hot strips of metal – 3 of which together generate the same heat as a blow torch – that are designed for 5-year-olds. Anything seems strange about that?

Do you remember the first time you lit a fountain or a roman candle? the thrill of setting fire to a fuse and legging it (never run around fireworks) as it starts to burn, the phosphorous smell that ends up embedded in your clothes and hair. And the intensity of the colours and crackles and how every fountain seems so different and exciting. Nowadays if I have seen one fountain, I have seen them all.

Catherine Wheels were always an exciting event. Someone would nail 1 to a tree or fence post, light it, stand back and watch the garden and half the audience get covered in burning hot sparks that leave black scorch marks everywhere. As a kid I loved Catherine Wheels. Today I can’t really find the time for them in a display and when I do see them I am not amazed and staggered by their beauty and colour. Just watching warily for the stray spark that will set my hair on fire.

So have fireworks got worse in the years between taking hours choosing what selection box to buy from the local shop and taking hours to choose how many thousands of pounds to throw up in a 5-minute display? In my opinion, no. Fireworks have gotten a lot better, and it is just as well, as our imaginations only get worse. Either that or experience and exposure turns us into pyrotechnic snobs who will only be impressed by the very best effect and strongest colours.

Whatever the reason, I know for that for every generation the same applies: Fireworks are much better now than when you were young and fireworks will never be as spectacular as you remember them.

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