Investigations on the Modifications in Ignition Delay Time of Shellac-based Pyrotechnic Igniter using Additives of Varying Particle Size

Lakshay Bansal, Prakha Jindal, Manish Kumar Bharti


Modifications achieved in the ignition delay time of shellac-based pyrotechnic igniter using different additives of varying particle size are observed and compared. 40 different pyrotechnic compositions were prepared using five additives i.e. aluminium, magnesium, red iron oxide, naphthalene and activated carbon. Four particle sizes i.e. <75 μm, 75–150 μm, 150–300 μm, 300–600 μm and two weight percentages of the additives i.e. 3% and 5% were investigated. A base composition, without any additive, was also prepared to compare and investigate the effects of additives and their particle size on the ignition delay time of the composition. The incorporation of additives significantly reduced the ignition delay time of the base composition. Addition of 5% red iron oxide having a particle size of <75 µm, delivered the maximum decrement in ignition delay time i.e. by 49.7%. Naphthalene of particle size of <75 µm added as 3% in the composition weight, provided the minimum reduction in the ignition delay time i.e. by 13.7%. It was also observed that all of the additives exhibited a similar manner of decrement in ignition delay time as the particle size decreased, except for naphthalene which exhibited an opposite trend.


Pyrotechnic Igniter; Ignition delay time; Shellac igniter; Potassium nitrate; Particle size

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