Fireworks are the focal point of each celebration, whether it is Independence Day, New year or any big wedding, fireworks are something extremely important and any celebration is incomplete without them. Many holidays such as Bonfire night include firework displays where fireworks of different colours and types light up the night sky with colours, stars and sparks. This spectacular magical scene can lift your spirit and amaze your senses. Here you are going to know in detail how fireworks are made, how they work and what is the science behind their fireworks.
What is Firework?
A firework is a device that produces auditory and visual effects by using combustive or explosive materials. Fireworks were first invented in China over 1000 years ago and still, it is the largest manufacturer of fireworks in the world. Fireworks may seem to you like magic but actually, fireworks use a combination of physics and chemistry. All fireworks are made with proper planning and science. Black powder also called gunpowder is filled in a paper tube and the fire burns along the fuse when is ignited. When the fire reaches the gunpowder, the firecracker explodes.
Can you buy Fireworks shells in the UK?
To buy fireworks Manchester, there are plenty of firework’s shops, but no license exists that can entitle a person to buy F4 fireworks for home use. In the UK, fireworks are categorised into 4 categories:
F4 is the professional category of fireworks and this category encompasses a wide range of fireworks that are used in professional fireworks displays by professional and trained people. Buying this category is not allowed to the public. However, no one under 18 is allowed to purchase F2, F3 and F4 fireworks.
How Fireworks are made?
A firework consists of plastic or cardboard heavy paper. Inside the shell, there is a small compartment that contains gunpowder. The remaining large compartment of the shell contains the explosive materials or chemicals that produce lights when ignited. These chunks used inside the tube are called stars and in European fireworks, these stars are mixed with gunpowder that explodes and scatters the stars in the sky. Some fireworks contain flash powder which produces bright light and a loud bang while ignited. Fireworks also contain fuses made of threads mixed with gunpowder.
Most of you are familiar with the basic types of fireworks such as firecrackers and sparklers. These basic fireworks and big display fireworks use the same science as a base. Well, yes, the big spectacular fireworks display you see on holidays, major events and celebrations, you see in the sky using the same science as a base. These huge displays are called aerial fireworks that use category F4 fireworks.
What do the shells of fireworks contain?
Aerial shells usually contain gunpowder, flash powder and stars. Black powder also known as gunpowder is a mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur in a specific ratio. The flash powder consists of a mixture of potassium perchlorate, sulphur, aluminium and potassium chlorate. Stars used in these fireworks are made of fuel and an oxidiser. The fuel is a colouring agent that burns to provide heat and colour. Some of the slow-burning fuels are charcoal, dextrin and red gum that produce long-lasting display. Some of the fast-burning fuels are aluminium, magnesium, titanium, which produces a bright light for the short term. For the smoke, sugar is used as fuel.
What causes different Colours in Fireworks?
Have you ever wondered what is the reason for these colours in fireworks? Well, the colouring agents called metal salts are used in the manufacturing of fireworks. Some of them include magnesium, aluminium, titanium, carbon, sodium compounds, barium nitrate, barium chlorate, and strontium carbonate. These salts are different from common salts because it means any compound that contains metal atoms. Some of these metal salts produce intense colours when burned. Using these salts is ideal for fireworks. Dextrin is used for holding the mixture together while some colours can be strengthened with chlorine donors.
Strontium carbonate is used for making red coloured fireworks, calcium chloride is for orange colour, sodium nitrate for yellow colour, barium chloride for green fireworks and copper chloride for blue fireworks. These metal salts are packed into pyrotechnic stars.
How does fireworks work?
When the fuse is ignited, the heat produces the lift charge that propels the mixture inside the shell into the sky. That mixture is explosive gunpowder that sends the fireworks as high as almost 300 metres into the air because of increased heat and gas. The fast-burning fuse burns slowly into the firework shell and after a few seconds, the fuse produces a charge that reaches the core of the firework. That heat explodes the firework and ignites the stars that contain metal salts. While burning, these metal salts give out a beautiful and coloured display.
How do Fireworks explode in different stages?
You must think about how fireworks seem to explode in a different pattern every time you see a fireworks display. Well, this is because some fireworks use special shells. These shells are called multi-break shells that are like shells in shells that explode at different timings from each other. However, this is not the case with every type of firework and not all of them explode in the same arrangement. Some fireworks explode in a circle while others shower sparks towards the earth. This pattern depends on the arrangement of stars in the aerial shell. Manufacturers create an outline with stars and surround them with a charge.
Fireworks are one of the most exciting and magical things, no event feels complete without the display of fireworks. However, it takes much science to create these beautiful visual and auditory effects. The colours, lights, patterns and smoke we see all are produced by carefully mixing compounds or chemicals. Certain compounds make particular colours after ignition. However, fireworks are essential for any celebration. And now while watching them, you won’t feel curious about their production anymore.