Glitter - D1 Glitter


Name: D1 Glitter
Source: Tom Rebenclau, Jack Drews


percent component
53.00% Potassium Nitrate
18.00% Sulfur
11.00% Charcoal (airfloat)
7.00% Aluminium (-325 mesh, spherical)
7.00% Sodium Bicarbonate
4.00% Dextrin

Required Mass


The composition designer suggests dampening with 6% plain water with 1 part of boric acid dissolved in it when pressing comets or pumping stars. It need not be ball milled if your components are already sufficiently fine, just screen together, moisten and granulate through a coarse sieve ready for pressing/pumping.


It burns fairly fast with a brilliant tail of long delayed gold flashes. It is quite drossy, not really suitable for gerbs or rockets, it will slag their nozzles very rapidly.

It is moderately hygroscopic and should be protected from dew and condensing/damp conditions in general, but it is far from unusable and quite a bit better than Winokur #24 in this regard. It should be dried well before use, and it takes some time to dry properly. A damp D1 Glitter star will be hard to light, produce almost no glitter and often burn to the ground. I strongly suspect that many of the issues reported using D1 Glitter by other pyrotechnists is a lack of proper drying.

The stars can be carefully forced dry in an ~85 C oven if all else fails. I've never experienced a Nitrate/Al alkaline reaction run away doing this, even at higher temperatures and with no special pains taken to protect the Aluminium.

I generally use a 25% solution of alcohol and somewhat less than 6% solvent, probably half that amount typically. Larger amounts are needed for cutting. It need only just stick together if you are pumping. Forcing through a sieve several times will help distribute small quantities of moisture evenly.

I also like to ball mill the mixture sans the metal to achieve homogeneity. However, note that milling for too long (more than an hour or so) will reduce the tail length and glitter delay significantly.

Some like to keep 4-5 parts of the charcoal fairly coarse, 60-100 mesh which adds body to the non-glittering part of the tail.

The Aluminium is somewhat critical to the effect. Fine flakes are generally wasted on D1, however some bright flake can help with fallout problems, or stubborn failure to glitter. Atomised Aluminium of tightly controlled and overall quite fine particle sizes is ideal. There should not be too much coarse material.

I recommend meal priming to ensure ignition and proper engulfing so all stars in a device will burn for nearly the same time and produce equally dense effects.