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Transcript of Fireworks
There are three main reactants in the word equation for a firework: potassium nitrate (or any other oxidizing agent), charcoal and sulfur. when the firework explodes they react like this:
Charcoal + Oxygen -> carbon dioxide + carbon monoxide
Sulfur + oxygen -> sulfur dioxide
Potassium nitrate -> Potassium nitrate + oxygen
Therefore, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, potassium nitrate and oxygen are the products from this reaction.
To begin with here are some examples of careless usage of fireworks that cause hazards to yourself and others that can be prevented:
Thank You For Watching!
Metals in Fireworks
Metals are mainly used in fireworks to add the many different colours, for example:
Stronium - red
Lithium - red
Barium - green
Copper - blue
Rubidium - violet
Potassium - violet
Titanium - white
Aluminum - white
Beryllium - white
Magnesium - white
Oxidizing agents are used in fireworks to produce the oxygen needed to make the mixture inside the firework burn. These oxidizers can be nitrates, chlorates or perchlorates.
Design of fireworks
Gunpowder is used in fireworks to propel
the aerial shell into the air and then make the firework explode releasing the colours and sparks.
Other chemicals and metals involved in the construction of a firework include:
Antimony - Used to create glitter effects in fireworks
Calcium – Included to deepen firework colors, Calcium salts also produce orange colour fireworks.
Iron - Iron is used to produce sparks. The heat of the metal determines the color of the sparks.
Magnesium – This metal burns with a very bright white light, so it is used to add white sparks or just to add to the overall glory of the explosion
Titanium – This metal can be burned as powder or flakes to produce silver sparks.
Zinc – Included to create smoke effects for fireworks.
Often people joke around with fireworks, pretending to point them at people or belongings etc. This is highly dangerous as the firework could go off at any time if the fuse is lit somehow, causing damage to the person holding it and possibly whoever/ whatever it is aimed at. Fireworks are highly flammable and there should be warning on the packaging of this with a flammable symbol.
Prevention - keep clear of others when handling fireworks and never jest when using them near other people
Many people are burnt when using/ lighting fireworks because they underestimate how carefully they should be handled. Furthermore, because fireworks contain oxidizing agents, if a fire or explosion is caused it will be much more lethal because these agents will speed up the development of combustion, make the fire more intense, make substances that would not normally burn in air to burn rapidly and cause flammable materials to burn spontaneously without an obvious ignition source (a spark or flame).
Prevention - do not hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them when lighting and never carry fireworks around in your pocket because the resulting friction may set them off.
Fireworks can easily cause damage to both children's and adult's eyes especially when lighting or using sparklers.
Prevention - Wear some sort of eye protection when using fireworks
More people can be severely injured if they are burnt etc around fireworks and correct procedures aren't in place to help them.
Prevention - Keep at least one bucket of water around when using fireworks and make sure at least one person in the group has some health a safety training or knows what to do if someone or something is set alight.
This is the oxidizing symbol, keep items with this symbol on the packaging away from flammable items, sparks and flames
This is the flammable symbol, if you see this on any
packaging you should keep the item away from flames, sparks and oxidizing agents.
It is very important that no-one is able to break into a firework factory because of the flammable, oxidizing and dangerous chemicals and compounds involved in making them. The factories are protected with:
Electricity is a serious cause for concern when making fireworks as one spark could create a huge explosion. To make the building safe and protect those working within, many safety measures are put into place:
All electrical outlets will be located away from the building.
To stop the risk of static electricity, all of the workers have to wear fully cotton clothing.
To remove any static electricity they might be carrying, they touch a copper plate before entering and workers wear elastic straps round their calves with wires trailing to the graphite floor to drain static electricity away to grounding rods underneath the building.
All work is stopped and everyone inside is forced to leave if there is any possibility of an electrical storm approaching.
Other safety measures are important such as ensuring that all work is done by hand because machines could produce heat or sparks, in the winter the factories are heated with hot water instead of hot air as this increases the risk of an explosion. The buildings are often very small so that an exit is always close and the doors at these exits open very wide with little effort so evacuations are simpler.
Rocket stick - Use to stabilize the rocket into the ground so it doesn't need to be held when being lit.
Ignition fuse - Burns down to light the gun powder in the rocket, firing it into the air and igniting stars and other important chemicals that make the display.
Paper Tube - Used to contain parts within the rocket
Thrust fuel - Usually gun powder, propels the rocket into the air before it explodes
Pass fire hole
Heading casting - Contains the stars and gun powder at the front of the rocket
Gun powder - When ignited will make the aerial shell explode in the air releasing colour and sound from compounds in the stars and spread them across the sky. Instead of gun powder and stars, this compartment may sometimes contain flash powder, which creates bright light and a loud bang
Stars - Contain a fuel that burns to provide heat, a colouring agent such as aluminum, carbon, sodium etc, and an oxidizer to burn the fuel. The fuel could either be slow-burning to produce a dim but long-lasting display, or fast-burning which would create a bright, short-lasting display. Examples of slow burning fuels are charcoal, dextrin or red gum and examples of fast burning fuels are aluminum, magnesium or titanium.
Wire - to hold the sparkler and used to mold the chemical mixture onto
Chemical mixture - Usually mixed with water so it can easily coat the wire. Simple mixtures will include potassium perchlorate and dextrin as the fuel
Dust or flakes of aluminum, iron, steel, zinc or magnesium are included to create the well-known, bright sparks
Sometimes other chemicals or metals are added to create different colours
The fuel and oxidizer are proportioned in a sparkler with the other chemicals, so that it burns slowly and doesn't explode in the way other fireworks do.
Fuse to light the gunpowder, chemicals and metals inside these compartments
Hub which is nailed to a vertical surface for the wheel to spin on
These are the explosives that are mounted onto the wheel. When they are ignited they make the wheel spin and throw sparks and flames from the center. Colours can be created by adding metals in the same way as other fireworks, furthermore the sparks are created with the same chips of metal as sparklers.
As it burns, its weight drops but the force it generates stays just about the same, so it gradually gets faster and faster.