From: email@example.com (Gerald L. Hurst)
Subject: Re: rec.pyrotechnics FAQ
Date: 24 Nov 1996 03:46:41 GMT
In article <APCfirstname.lastname@example.org>, Dave Caulkins
>I OPPOSE discussion of explosives in rec.pyro.
>1) The use of materials that detonate has small to zero application in
>pyrotechnic devices of the civilian type.
>2) There is a group - alt.engr.explosives - specifically for detonating
>materials; people who want to talk about C4, TNT, NG, etc. should go
>there. I suggest that any discussions of these materials in rec.pyro is
Consider that not everyone has access to alt.engr.explosives.
Also consider that some threads necessarily include references to
both high and low explosives and that nature did not build a sharp
border between the two. There are those among us who are interested
in the high-energy chemistry and related physics which form the
scientific basis for the manufacture and use of both HE and LE whether
for recreational or industrial purposes.
There are mixtures used in pyrotechnics which approach the properties
of HE or are capable of doing so whether the experimenter likes it or
not. It follows that discussions of HE may be useful from the standpoint
of learning what to avoid to prevent getting a face full of mortar
We often see objections to the posting of materials relating to
"explosives" as though someone had made a mistake in including the word
in the FAQ. What these mildly misguided folks probably mean is "bombs"
rather than explosives since pyrotechnics really wouldn't be the same
without BP and flash.
Were it not for the increasingly prohibitive cost of HE initiators and
a long learning curve resulting from many decades of inexperience with
HE in the pyrotechnics industry, it would be quite feasible and
economical to use HE in some conventional fireworks. Most modern
HE is very much less sensitive and less prone to accidental explosion
than are pyrotechnic materials. I'd much rather work with most HE than
with flash and I'd probably live longer. The near prohibition of HE
in fireworks is largely a political and legal thing rather than a
practical matter, except insofar as deliberate misuse of the substances
is concerned. HE can, of course, be used to blow safes and bridges. I
do not mean to suggest there would be no additional dangers but those
that arose would be accompanied by other, ofsetting factors.
I am not advocating the use of HE in pyrotechnics. You old dogs don't
need any new tricks :)