Sparkler Burns

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Neil

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Are you guys familiar with that kind of sparkler that goes from red to green to some other color? They are wrapped in different color paper, with sparkly ribbon stuff holding it all together, with a long pink stick.

Well, I found one of those at a tennis court two days ago, and decided it was worth a shot to light it. So I get the matches, and stick the sparkler in a big pile of dirt. I light a match, and stick it under the tip of the sparkler. It fizzles.... Then FOOOOOM!!! Half the sparkler explodes in a huge fireball, at the center of which is my left thumb....:( My friend (who was with me at the time) says his dad had the same problem....

I have had worse burns than this before, but I was just wondering if I was the only one with this problem....

Has it happened to you?
 

WiK

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We're not all pyros, Neil! :D
 

DavRedf

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Originally posted by WiK
We're not all pyros, Neil! :D
Now lets see, we play with black powder, inflamable chemicals and oxidisers.
Are you sure of that statement Wik?

It could be an Al-Quaeda plot to get fireworks banned.

David
 

WiK

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Well... Not counting rocketry, of course! :D
 

Neil

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Well, what would YOU do if you found a sparkler lying in the middle of a tennis court!?:D
 

grimlock3000

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I wouldn't touch a mystery sparkler laying in a tennis court. When I was a kid we would dip the things in gas and then light them off, so you never know what you are picking up :p

When in doubt, put that rocket hardware you have to good use...



 

Neil

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It retrospect, it proabably wasnt the best idea in the world... But... It looked normal.... And all we had left were the stinky little normal sparklers, and we wanted something slightly more exiting... I guess we got something MUCH more exiting... :rolleyes:

Hindsight is 20/20.:rolleyes:
 

Neil

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Hm.... Would this work..... It would proabably be against some rule or another, but....

If you stuck 3 of those 120 degrees apart in a flying saucer, then lit them all off, then ran back and pressed the button as soon as all 3 sparklers were lit.....

Hm....

Proabably unsafe, illegal, and against some safety code or another, though....:( :rolleyes:

Naw, I think ill stick to rocket motors in my rockets for now...:D
 

Elapid

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i thought i was clever when i was taking my college chemistry courses...i got a bit of potassium perchlorate and mixed it with some Mg or Al powder...i made a small pile on a rock by the river and proceeded to try to light the 2" diameter, 1" high pile with my 3" cigarette...

Dumb thing to do!

the powder flashed into a 4" diameter, white-hot fireball, engulfing my fingers, roasting the cigarette to a cinder, and sending screaming pain signals toward my brain...

the fingernails of two fingers were brown, the entire surface burned...the skin was burned 2nd degree from tip to knuckle.
i still have the scars...

lesson learned - ALWAYS use a punk or time delay fuse to light any questionable devices!
be SAFE!
:)
 

MattEx

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Neil, the other firework I know with a similar effect to what you experienced are Ground Bloom Flowers...
If you drop one/throw at ground, it will occasionally crack the BP/KClO4/Metals grain inside, and when lit instead of doing a nifty spin on the ground in various colors, it produces a shattering report and fireball...

I was unprepared for this one day (completely unexpected)... man it was scary when it exploded ;) .

Now that this info is out in the open, I expect you all will go out and try it :D.
 

Neil

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Hm.... So if the grain on teh sparkler is cracked... It explodes?

OK... A match will fit in the nock on an arrow... So if I stick a match in there, light it, and use it to light a cracked sparkler in the middle of the driveway.... With the video camera rolling... I could win $10,000 from AFV??? :D


The fireball wasnt that big... Only about 5" diamter tops.... But, when your thumb is in the middle of said 5" diameter bright-green fireball...

You can imagine the words.:eek:
 

MattEx

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What you experienced was probably a similar effect to what happens with Ground Bloom Flowers.. there are generally two kinds of sparklers:

The dried, hard composition on metal stick (true sparkler) and...
The rammed composition in paper tube (actually a lance under true pyro definition) which you had, it sounds like.

If there was voids or a crack right through that rammed composition, imagine the surface area increase :eek: .
Similar to what happens when you get voids in propellant.
Whammo.. internal burning, rapid combustion of massive surface area, massive fireball... with fingers inside.

The paper tube would have provided containment too, which led to an even greater pressure increase, likely.

I can quite imagine the comments you made :D :p .
 

Ray Dunakin

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Originally posted by Elapid
i thought i was clever when i was taking my college chemistry courses...i got a bit of potassium perchlorate and mixed it with some Mg or Al powder...i made a small pile on a rock by the river and proceeded to try to light the 2" diameter, 1" high pile with my 3" cigarette...

Dumb thing to do!

the powder flashed into a 4" diameter, white-hot fireball, engulfing my fingers, roasting the cigarette to a cinder, and sending screaming pain signals toward my brain...
Years ago we had a friend with a reputation for dumb stunts. One day he came over with a can of BP, poured a huge pile of it on the driveway, and then proceeded to ignite the top of the pile -- using a BIC lighter held in his hand!
 

MattEx

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LOL
I need not ask how badly his hand got burnt ;) .
Sure, I may be a pyromaniac :D , but at least I ignite my compositions electrically :) .

This means that despite pyromanical tendencies, doing EX and being only 15, my most serious injury has been a knife cut on my finger when trimming grains - it pays to be safe guys :p .
A full set of fingers are preferable to me :) .
 

Neil

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So you can proabably imagine the comments when the whole top layer of skin measuring about one square centimeter came right off.... Ouch... That happened last night... Very nasty looking, and rather painfull...

How did you come to know so much about sparklers? :cool: Well, if those things on a metal stick are "true" sparklers, I hate true sparklers... Not very exiting... For sparks like that, I can just take a cutoff wheel on my Dremmel tool, fire it up to "10", and touch it to a piece of all-thread... :D Pretty much the same result. :D :D :D

The "lances" (as you called them) are much more interesting... Too interesting, if they get cracked... :D


Ouch... At least I didnt know the sparkler would explode... Igniting BP with a lighter... Well.... Thats just stupid.:eek: Yes, I bet his hand got VERY burnt...:(
 

karatekicker271

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Here is my "stupid 4th of July story"


Me, my brother, and my cousin were lighting the things we knew wouldn't make anything special (like black cobras and these things called piccilos that are just noise and my mom wont let us light off at night) and I remembered seeing these green things with a fuse coming out of them, and last year we had some smoke bombs that looked exactly like those. So I go and ask my parents if we can light a smoke bomb off, they say ok. I go outside, parents following. My brother then tries to convince my parents and me it is safe to hold them in your hand. We both said no so he settled down and gave up. We go and light it, dont step that far away because we know what smoke bombs do, and them as it just gets to the little green ball thing, I read the label on the bag and find out they are something called "blasts". I tell my bro and cousin to run back, we do, and theres and big pop like a fire crackers with reports (the things that have the big white flashes that lookl like camera flashes and went about 10 feet high.) Scared the crud outta everyone, and there were no more of those until that night.
 

BlueNinja

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Hey hey... reporting from Pierre, South Dakota.

I haven't had any burn me, although you know about the 10' sparkler fountain I made.... :p


I have also seen sparkler bombs made, can't dwell on this here though.
 

RocketboyG80

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It's too late for this 4th of July, but I just got the box of 144 bottle rockets that I won on eBay in the mail today. I'll probably use a few on Labor Day and save the rest for the next 4th. I did however try a few out. They're pretty good; short whistle then a small bang. Although it's certainly better than driving down to Maryland to pick some up.
 
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