Tuning Tests - Glitter Experiments

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Date: 2004-11-27


Various glitter compositions were test burned in twists of kitchen paper and the effect recorded to study the micro-structure of the glitter effect.

First basic D1 glitter was tested. This batch of D1 had been moistened and then granulated through a sieve to about -20 mesh.

The second is D1 glitter to which 10% Nickel Oxide (NiO, green) has been added. This rather toxic and expensive compound is rumoured to produce crackling glitters. The black version Ni2O3 is probably more likely to work.

The third composition tested was engineered to produce Potassium Sulfide dross, like Senko Hanabi, and then react it with some spherical Aluminium. With no delay agent this is a kind of primitive flitter composition:

6 Potassium Nitrate

2 Sulfur

1 Charcoal (airfloat)

1 Aluminium (-325 mesh, spherical).

The fourth composition adds 1 part Lithium Carbonate to the previous. This experiment was aiming at producing some pinkish colouring to the flash reaction. Lithium Sulfate melts at a lower temperature than its Sulfide, so no delay enhancement was expected.


Interesting results.

Some pretty screen shots of what Winokur would call "symmetrical flashes" and "flitter".

The addition of Nickel (II) Oxide did little to D1 glitter, except it did tend to produce single large flashes rather than smaller ones. No unusual audible effect was produced and the change to the glitter effect could have probably been achieved with the much cheaper and safer oxides of Iron. Some Lead Oxide might be interesting to try, I have quite a collection of metal oxides, future experiments will no doubt include them.

The flitter composition burnt with many short lived silver sparks. I was suprised that the high sulfur content made such a huge difference from the same Aluminium burnt in plain meal powder.

The Lithium laced flitter produced quite a bit more smoke and light output, but little colouring. There was a slight hint of very washed out purplish red in the sparks, rather than silver or gold normal seen in Aluminium sparks. I used well washed charcoal, so its Sodium contamination was fairly low, but I am not confident of the purity of the Potassium Nitrate yet.


title type size
D1 Glitter video/x-msvideo 4.738 Mbytes
D1 Glitter + NiO video/x-msvideo 1.596 Mbytes
Flitter video/x-msvideo 5.791 Mbytes
Flitter + LiCO3 video/x-msvideo 3.679 Mbytes