Sparklers how are they made?
Finding a person that isn’t thrilled with the fun of glittery sparklers these days is hard. These fizzling rods of sparks, colour and fire are among the most popular in the UK and quite often the most sold type of firework as well as central entertainment to most celebrations and events such as Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night) to Birthday Celebrations, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Ghengis Fireworks have peeked behind the curtain at the science that goes into making your favourite traditional types of fireworks; you’ll be happy to know this includes sparklers!
Here’s a rundown of the chemicals and manufacturing process that goes into making such a unique, loved and great firework.
The Main Components of Sparklers:
There are three chemical components they are:
- A Metal fule.
- An Oxidiser.
- A Binder.
By adding additional chemicals to the sparklers effects or colours can be enhanced or completely changed. However, the three listed above are the main components that form the core of any and all sparklers.
Components of Sparklers: The Metal Fuel
A metal wire is the core of most sparkles it gets coated with a mixture of the metal fuel, oxidiser and lastly the binder from one end to the other. The most common wire used is made of Iron; typically coated with up to four different chemical fuels:
List of conventional fuels used:
- Aluminium and Magnesium.
- Gives a yellow and white glow effect.
- Gives a red glow effect.
- Gives a silver and white glow effect.
- Gives a golden glow effect.
The four fuels listed above are the most common colours that you will see on most sparklers. However, you can add other chemicals to the metal fuel to achieve a different array of colours. As an example, certain salts when added to the fuel will provide varying colours such as reds, blues and greens.
Components of Sparklers: An Oxidiser
The oxidisers play a critical role in sparklers. As the metal fuel begins to burn the oxidisers are heated and decompose, this created various gaseous byproducts one of which is Oxygen.
The Oxygen produced helps to burn the sparkler mixture more efficiently.
The oxidiser help to ensures that the sparklers effects last all the way along the metal wire during the burning process, This process is also behind the reaction that creates the crackling effects every one associate with sparklers.
Common Oxidisers include:
- Metal Nitrates.
- Potassium Nitrate.
Components of Sparklers: A Binder
The binder is the final component and as its name suggests is what helps to keep everything together.
As both the metal fuel and the Oxidiser are nothing more than chemicals in a paste-like form, the binder is used to ensure they bind together along the length of the wire and do not fall apart.
You can use different chemicals as a binder; however, the most commonly used is dextrin, once the three individual components are combined water is added to the mix to form a smoother paste for ease of application and adhesion to the wire.
It may interest you to know that certain types of dextrin can also be found in food, it’s often used for medicinal purposes.
Creating the Sparklers:
It’s quite a simple and automated task to construct the sparkler, unlike most fireworks. First, the metal wire is cut to length, depending on the type of sparkler, small, medium or large, this will vary.
A machine then moves the pre-cut wires to the next area where the mixture of chemicals we have discussed above gets applied to the wire. The Application is a simple process of dipping the entire wire from one end to the other into vats of the pre-mixed chemicals then allowed to stand for a moment while the mixture dried and sets.
They will be dipped multiple times to ensure the mixture is potent enough to achieve the desired effects. The sparklers will then stand where they will dry thoroughly for up to one week; this is to ensure the quality is excellent. Next, they are packed up, branded and shipped off you the retailer and finally delivered parties, events and celebrations to be enjoyed by yourselves and your guests.