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Joseph Nelson
Joseph Nelson

Military And Civilian Pyrotechnics - Free Pyrot...

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Military And Civilian Pyrotechnics - Free Pyrot...

Firewalkers Pyro was established in 2013 as the newest Air Show Pyrotechnics Team on the Air Show scene. While being a new team it's members have a long history and many years of experience providing exciting, loud, HOT and safe Pyrotechnics at air shows, both nationally and worldwide. Our team members have worked closely with some of the most exciting civilian flight demonstration teams, fastest jet trucks, ground shows and military teams from virtually every branch of the service, foreign and domestic.

Due to their remarkable ignition and energy release properties, one of the nano-energetic materials, nanothermite, has been gaining increasing attention from researchers in the fields of propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics [16,17,18,19,20]. Nanothermites, however, do not produce gas during the thermite reaction and they cannot self-detonate, which reduces their usefulness in military and civilian industry. Secondary explosives like hexogen (RDX) or cyclotetramethylenete-tranitramine (HMX) do evolve massive amounts of gas during their chemical reactions, but their volume energy densities are lower than those of nanothermites. Therefore, it appears that nanothermites, mixed with secondary explosives, might perform better than either nanothermites or secondary explosives. Based on this idea, some studies of hybrid nanocomposites have been conducted [21,22,23], and their combustion characteristics show that they could cause a rapid deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) that can be accelerated to the primary explosive level [22] and therefore used to initiate the detonation of a high explosive [23]. In addition, their preparation, by mixing, is simple and generates no pollutants. Therefore, these explosives might be a kind of novel green nanoscale substitute for existing initiating explosives, thanks to their high thermal stabilities and controllable velocities of detonation. Furthermore, due to the absence of lead, and if used as primary explosives, they would escape some of the shortcomings of current primary explosives.

While the environment would undoubtedly benefit from cleaner civilian fireworks displays, it is the military that is really driving forward this research area. The armed forces are particularly heavy users of pyrotechnics, from simulated explosions on the training ground to the signal flares, illuminations, decoys and smoke screens used on the battlefield. Within the military there is a growing realisation of the potential health impact on troops of continual exposure to the combustion products of pyrotechnics, as well as the environmental impact.

While the armed forces might be the first to benefit from this work, military-funded research into cleaner pyrotechnics is already starting to filter through to civilian fireworks displays, and the potential for growth is huge (see box). 59ce067264


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