Environmentally safe red glare rocket changes fireworks, soldier technology

ScienceDaily | 1/3/2018 | Staff
shuadah (Posted by) Level 3
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The formula is a lithium-based red-light-emitting pyrotechnic composition of high purity and color quality, and avoids a list of environmentally-objectionable elements, namely strontium and chlorinated organic materials, both considered hazardous to humans.

The new formulation is based on a non-hygroscopic dilithium nitrogen-rich salt that serves as both oxidizer and red colorant. The formulation may draw interest from the civilian fireworks and military pyrotechnics communities for further development as they both have a vested interest in the development of environmentally conscious formulations, stated ARL's Dr. Jesse J. Sabatini, a research chemist, who with the university's Professor Thomas M. Klapötke coauthored a paper in a recent edition of Angewandte Chemie.

Red-light-emission - Color - Purity - Authors - Formulation

To achieve red-light-emission of high color purity, the authors report a formulation consisting of powdered magnesium and hexamine as the fuels, nitrocellulose, an epoxy binder system, and a lithium-based high-nitrogen salt, which serves as both the oxidizer and colorant. When burned, this formulation was found to exhibit a relatively cool-burning flame, while producing suitable quantities of red-light-emitting atomic lithium. While further optimization is still needed to improve the luminosity of Li-based red-light-emitting flares, this represents the first known example of a successful red-light-emitting formulation of high color quality and purity based on lithium that does not contain any perchlorates, halogenated materials or strontium-based materials.

Historically, the formulations for red-light-emitting pyrotechnic formulations included powdered metal fuels like magnesium and aluminum, strontium nitrate and perchlorate oxidizers, as well as carbon-based chlorinated organic materials such as poly(vinyl) chloride.

Formulations - Light - Generation - Strontium - Chloride

"When these formulations are burned, a bright red light is produced; brought about by the generation of strontium(I) chloride (SrCl). SrCl is a deep red-light-emitter, and it is what's known...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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