Besides displaying artfully arranged explosions in the sky, fireworks are also used to celebrate the birth of a nation and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Fireworks have two main components: a lifting charge and a bursting charge. As the shell rises into the sky, the lifting charge ignites and the bursting charge explodes when the fireworks reach the proper altitude. If you want to know more about fireworks, read on.
Artistic uses of fireworks
Historically, artistic uses of fireworks were often depicted in printmaking. Prints depicted displays as streams of light or sustained arcs of light, which harkened back to the work of Adorno. Artists also used fireworks as a means to show movement. However, their methods varied from region to region. Here are three common artistic uses of fireworks. Historically, fireworks have been used to tell stories and commemorate historical events.
Chemical reactions that produce colors
Fireworks have brilliant colours due to chemical reactions between the metal salts and oxygen. These elements are used in the production of fireworks as a source of oxygen and fuel. The oxidizer breaks down the chemical bonds within the fuel, releasing energy. Firestarters ignite this energy, which turns the metal salts into the colorful explosions that astonish onlookers. Fireworks have different shapes depending on the arrangement of the stars inside the shell.
Simple shells of fireworks
Simple shells of fireworks are simple structures that are filled with star pellets and a bursting charge. These materials ignite black powder to create sparks, which is then used as the source of light. Simple shells are made with two components: a bursting charge and a paper tube filled with star pellets. These shells explode with a loud “BOOM” when ignited. They are commonly available in round or pea-sized shell patterns.
In the case of multi-break shells, the stars in these fireworks are stored inside separate compartments. Each of these compartments contains a bursting charge that ignites the stars. In order to produce a spectacular display, these fireworks must be launched with tremendous force. They are prone to bursting close to the ground, so great care is taken in the design of their fuses and compartments. A multi-break shell requires several explosions to produce its desired effect.
Performing spectacular displays of fireworks requires proper timing. Many complex displays use 1500 cues to ignite multiple devices at once, with some devices firing several times. Understanding the chemistry of fireworks is essential to synchronizing the firing of these displays. A few tips to remember:
Alternatives to gunpowder
Many alternatives to gunpowder are available for use in fireworks, but these have limited applications. The most common types of substitutes are smokeless powders and composite propellants. These are difficult to obtain in the United States, but can be made in some other countries. Some alternatives to gunpowder have similar properties and are often used in muzzle-loading weapons. In addition to their use in fireworks, these materials are also found in muzzle-loading weapons.