The 4th of July only comes once a year but can be set in our hearts for a lot longer. I personally love the 4th of July because it celebrates independence and freedom. One of the biggest tools to celebrate this holiday is, of course, fireworks. But how do fireworks even work?
Whether this helps a child with their essay or you just want to learn a few quirky fun facts, this blog article will teach you the basics and the overall history of fireworks.
There are a wide variety of fireworks available in the market. Each produces a different effect depending on how they were set up and the materials used in making them.
Table of Contents
TYPES OF FIREWORKS
All of them operate on basic principles which apply to every firework. It begins with learning about the three basic types of fireworks: the firecracker, sparklers, and aerial fireworks.
Firecrackers are the oldest and the most basic of all three. The Chinese first created them by stuffing gunpowder in hollow bamboo tubes.
Typical firecrackers consist of gunpowder or flash powder which is then tightly compacted into a tube. A fuse serves to light the powder inside. Sometimes, manufacturers add materials such as aluminum to make the explosion brighter.
Meanwhile, sparklers emit bright flashes of light. This is because they are designed to burn brightly for a long time, unlike firecrackers which usually blow up in a fraction of a second.
Finally, there are the aerial fireworks. They are probably the most common form of fireworks since they are used during celebrations such as the New Year and, in The United States, the Fourth of July.
Among the three, aerial fireworks are the most complex. They are usually composed of a container, a bursting charge at the center that ignites the stars located on its side, and the fuse determines how high the fireworks can fly.
Different compounds are used in the stars to create different colors.
WHERE DO THE COLORS COME FROM?
Have you ever wondered where the colors of fireworks come from? Wonder no more because I have provided you with a comprehensive list of the elements needed to create specific colors in fireworks.
Read on how to stay safe while enjoying fireworks — link below.
To begin with, the colors of fireworks depend on added compounds to the black powder. A specific combination creates a particular color.
Below is a list of the common colors used in fireworks and the compounds that give off a specific hue.
Red is achieved by mixing either strontium or lithium salts with gunpowder. Strontium gives off a bright shade of red while lithium a fainter one.
Wonder what gives the golden glow in fireworks? Mixing iron, charcoal, or lampblack will produce a golden light.
Producing this color needs compounds such as copper compounds combined with a chlorine producer and copper acetoarsenite.
Had enough with the common colors? Mix strontium (the compound that produces red) and copper (a compound that produces blue), and you have yourself a purple flash of light.
Have you ever thought that fireworks imitate the color of lightning? It is done by adding either aluminum, titanium, or magnesium to the mix to make silver.
There are other compounds added to regular gunpowder to produce different-colored fireworks. The ones listed above, however, are the most common.
I hope this article helped educate the fun facts about fireworks, I know it interests me!
From one Pen Pal to another: Please keep in mind that you should not try mixing powders for fireworks by yourself or at home unless accompanied by a professional. Fireworks have been proven time and time again to be hazardous to an individual’s safety.
In fact, I just released a blog article on firework safety. Which you can find here.
Well, there you have it, Pen Pals! Your overall fascinating facts about fireworks. We hope you have a great 4th of July full of fireworks, BBQs, and tons of fun from our household to yours!
Until next time.
Want to learn more about the chemistry of fireworks?
Click here–The Chemistry Behind Fireworks Colors.
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