I actually ran the operation out of the Stinking Desert warehouse for a few months. The Kosankes taught me the business, kept me from getting in trouble with the ATF and CPSC, and patiently taught me what I needed to know.
KSI had been around for about 20 years before I bought it, so there was quite a bit of collateral material that came with the deal. One little item was a list of cut star formulas my predecessors had put together. It fits perfectly with the theme of the last blog post, so I figure it’s time to make it available to a larger audience and to immortalize it.
by K.L and B.J. Kosanke
At one time, we were engaged in the commercial manufacture of firework stars. During that time we assembled (developed, borrowed or modified) a series of star formulas. It was felt that the formulas were reasonably safe and cost effective, while at the same time, performed well (relatively easy ignition and fairly good color or comet effects). Over the years, when asked for advise concerning useful star formulas, we frequently supplied copies of “these” star formulas. In the thought that there are others that might wish to have access to them, this short article has been assembled.
Below are the star formulas, given in parts by weight. Unless otherwise noted, water was the solvent used to activate the binder. Normally round stars were manufactured in a star rolling machine. However, the formulas should work equally well to make cut or pressed stars. Where needed, notes have been included for clarity.
|Mg/Al (-60 mesh)||-||-||-||-||12||12||11|
|Mg/Al (-200 mesh)||-||-||-||4||-||6||9|
|Aluminum (12mic., atom.)||-||-||-||9||-||-||-|
|Notes:||(A)||(B & C)||(B & C)|
(A) Do not prime with meal prime, use only red strobe prime.
(B) Adjust strobe rate by using greater or lesser amounts of Mg/Al (200 mesh).
(C) Priming consisted of a very heavy application of meal prime (30-50% of total star weight).
|Charcoal (air float)||15||18||13||11||10||13||15|
|Charcoal (80 mesh)||-||-||9||-||-||-||-|
|Aluminum (12mic., atom.)||-||-||-||5||-||-||-|
|Aluminum (50-120 mesh)||-||-||-||-||10||-||-|
|Titanium (20-40 mesh)||-||-||-||-||-||9||-|
(D) Can also be mixed with nitrocellulose lacquer for use as a quick drying slurry prime.
(1) T. Shimizu, “Studies on Blue and Purple Flame Compositions Made with Potassium Perchlorate” Pyrotechnica VI, (1980).
(2) R. Winokur, Private communication.
(3) T. Fisher, “Glitter Stars without Antimony”. PGI Bulletin No. 24 (1981).
(4) R. Sheard and others, Private communication.