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Blaf

BP Blues

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Hello guys

Anyone of you ever tried to make BP as described at www.freepgs.com ? I mean mixing meal powder with hot water, making thick slurry and then spread it on paper and let it dry...etc. I haven't yet, just simple dry ball-milling and that's it.
Any useful tricks or suggestions?

Blaf (lives forever...)

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CIA or precipation method,

gives quiet good blackpowder, only drawback is the drying time,

i allways mill everything together and then wetten it with a water acetone solution.

You have to use the acetone to prevent the KNO3 from crystallising out on the sides of the composition

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Ah, there you are Exhile!

I already thought I could get out from this just like that. You're right about crystalizing of KNO3 - next batch will be wetted by acetone/water mix. Meanwhile, my first batch dried and I forced it through a kitchen sieve. We'll see how it works...I don't expect great improvement, though. I saw somewhere on the Net that some guy wets the meal and then puts it into kind of plastic mold, covers it with appropriatelly sized lid and presses everything with a hydraulic press. The final product is a dry round cake of black-powder which he furtherly crushes and sieves to desired size. Don't know what's advantage of this method but he obviously doesn't do it for no reason...

Blaf

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When you wetten the BP, some of the KNO3 will dissolve in the water and crystallize IN the C,when you press it, you will force more KNO3 molecules in the C molecule giving you even better quality blackpowder, ideal pressure for BP is 1.7gr/cc IIRC.

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Yeah, I suspected that it has something to do with pressing molecules (or whatever...) into each other. I made some more sieving and granulating and made a batch of GP whos particles are twice smaller than the previous batch. Now I'm waiting to see how the granule size affects its burning rate in devices...as a burst charge for instance. We'll see.
Meanwhile, I'm looking for suitable heavy walled plastic tube and appropriate piston to try pressing my first cake.
But, it smells like commercial BP would be much faster whatever I (or anyone) do...

Blaf

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You should check the Powder Die topic and see what my BP cakes look like coming out of my hydraulic press...

Blaf

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This water /acetone mix you guys are talking about what percentage water /acetone do you use?
And is it possible to use a water/ethanol mix or can you only use that one for the binding of stars and for the binding of stars do u absolutly have to use ethanol or can you also use methanol or is that impossible because of its inpurities?
Sorry for the loads of questions but i like to now what im doing.

Regards Pirate

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Hello there!

What I use for moisting my meal is not Acetone/Water mix!!! It's Alcohol/Water mix in 50/50 ratio. I use what english speaking part of the World calls Rubbing Alcohol...and I suppose it's ethanol...of at least 95% purity. And it works!

Blaf

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Ok thanks :wink:
Then i have to search around for some ethanol i found one site where they sell it but it is about 20 euro's for 70 cl so it's pretty expensive.
Maybe iff i search some more i can find a better deal.
The rubbing alcohol what is it normaly used for, the ethanol i can get is for making youre own alcaholic beverages (kindoff like whiskey but then with fruit flavour and so ,i dont know the english name :oops: )

Pirate

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Huh, the price you mentioned is too high Pirate. Do not even try to purchase it at such robberous price. The kind I use can be had at paint shops at much lower price. Here is some details on rubbing alcohol...which will reveal that I was not quite right about its contents and purity. Anyhow, I'm just quoting what I found:

"Rubbing alcohol, these days, is synthetically produced isopropyl alcohol
diluted with water to 70% strength. This is not fit for consumption.
Denatured alcohol is ethanol (a.k.a. ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, etc.)
that would otherwise be fit for mixing libations EXCEPT that it has been
altered by the addition of a chemical that makes it particularly unfit for
consumption.
So, some, but not all, kinds of denatured alcohol can be used as rubbing
alcohol. Rubbing alcohol may also not contain any ethanol at all, which
would disqualify it from being "denatured". So, some but not all kinds of
rubbing alcohol are denatured alcohol, and some but not all kinds of
denatured alcohol can be rubbing alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol is an alcohol intended to be rubbed on the skin. Frequently
70% iso-propyl alcohol / 30% water is used; sometimes ethanol with added iso-propyl alcohol is used".

Blaf

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Remember what we were talking about before? Well, this could be overleaping with some other topics (I mean mentioning Powder Die, Hydraulic Press, Corning and blah, blah....) but final outcome leads to the same old product – Black Powder. I'm attaching an image which clearly shows powder grains after my meal was mixed with 50/50 mix of Alcohol/Water, packed in my Powder Die, Pressed for some time, left to dry, corned and sieved to separate particles of different size. Image speaks enough for itself so have a look...
href>

On the left is little larger grained, particle sizes between 0.1 - 1.5mm. Middle is sized betweeen 0.5 - 0.1mm while small pile on the right is finelly grained leftover which perfectly works in my new Fuse.

What do you say about this?

Blaf

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Thanks for the info on rubbing alcohol then ill go take a look in some paintshops luckely for me i have one right across my street.
Thats one advantage of living in a city but finding safe testing grounds is more difficult.
And thats a nice pic you posted it shows the difference of the grain sizes real good :wink:
Do you use the water/alcohol mix for ball milling , pressing and making stars and so because a litle while back in this topic exhile said that he used acetone so that the kno3 doesn't crystalise out on the sides of the composition.
Or does the alcohol has the same effect on the kno3 as the acetone :?

Pirate

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No, I always do dry ball-milling. If star composition uses Dextrin as binder then I use 70/30 mixture of Water/Alcohol. Acetone is used when water content is not desirable...with shellack or NC as a binder for instance.
I don't know what exactly chemically happens there with KNO3 crystals...
Exhile, you could start an expert topic on this, don't you?

Blaf

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Im also gona try dry milling this afternoon.
Last weekend i wetted my meal a bit but it didn't worked out that well because my comp was sticking to my media so i did have some nice stars but that was not my intention.In the beginning it was just a litle wet so it still was powder but with my latex gloves on i didn't feel it was a bit wet so i wetted the comp some more and then it went wrong.
Then about the acetone so you use it instead of water so when i want to make stars and i use shellack then i should use acetone/alcohol or only acetone or am i missing something here.
I also would be greatfull Exhile if you could explain some more :wink:

Pirate

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You know what? I have read an article written by well known chemists (can't remeber his name though) which says: "Black Powder is one of the safest mixes to work with ever. It's not sensitive to friction, static discharge and so on"... And you know what? I believe what he says. Wet milling sucked from very beginning. I never tried it because I thought that my media (glass marbles) would be covered with it and then what?... Scratching it off them and wasting valuable time...not to mention loss of compound. I didn't like it from the start.
We should surely wait for Exhile to make further explanations...

Blaf

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You're right i also heard that about bp that it is one of the safest comp's to work with.
If i aint mistaking there is a link on the forum to a test on static electricity in combination with bp and for as far as i know they waren't able to ignite bp with static electricity ill take a look iff i can find it.Hmm i don't seem to be able to find it again sry.
My media (lead ball's)where indeed covered in bp so I let it dry and milled it again and then my lead ball's(not my own) where clean again or clean enough so that i didn't lose to much comp.
Actualy i should have weighed it again to see how much comp i lost but i alyet did some burn test's so ill have to do it with my next try.

And Exhile it would be greatly apriciated if you could explain some more :wink:

Pirate

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You're right, I saw the same BP sensitivity test somewhere on Net. You saw yourself what man did with it, showers of sparks from piezo gadget going through pile of BP etc...nothing happened. Why? Explanation is really logical - C (carbon) is conductive element and thus has low resistance which furtherly means it doesn't generate enough heat to light. End of story. I'm gonna try this experiment myself too...

Blaf

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Wel to be totaly honoust i didn't read the test completly yet thats why i'm trying to find it again, but it does make sense how you explain it with the conductivity of carbon and the non generating of heat.
Probably i shouldn't say this but be carefull while youre testing :wink:
I also got another question for you blaf or if somewone else knows the answer they also may say it offcourse.
What is the best way to stock bp or meal in what kind of jar glas plastic, airtight or open in case of accidental deflagration or shouldn't you store bp or meal for the risk of an accident?
Its just i have about a 100 grams meal at the moment and i want to make some rockets so im planning on making some more meal and rolling a lot of engines so that i can make a bunch of them and try out some different things because i live in the middel of a city it aint so easy to take a walk and testfire some stuff but now im wondering at how safe it is to have that stuff lying around (in a safe compartiment where nobody can touch it but still i dont want nothing to happen)

Pirate

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I keep my meal and granules in airtight plastic containers...the ones regularily used for deep-freezing food. Mine are of square shape (L=10cm/W=10cm/H=7cm) but any other shape will do. I also glued a small cylinder with desicator granules inside every lid...just in case that moisture ever gets through. Safety geeks would say here "well done Blaf". And I never store great amounts of it...in fact, I'm small scale Pyro and I'm happy to be one...

Blaf

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Aha now there springs somthing to mind my mom has a lot of those plastic containers for storing food in al sorts of shapes and sizes maybe i can borrow some.
And what do you use to get the moisture out off the air desicator granules i dont know the word's but i know what you mean with it but where do you get it.
Ive looked at a onlineshop for home contruction and there they have this box to get moisture out of the air in the top of the box is a bag with also a sort of those desicator granules and beneath it a reservoir for the water that drips down from the bag.
Would it be possible to open the bag take some granulas out of it and put those in a litle box with some holes in it and glue that to the lid of your big box.
The only thing im wondering about is that the type of granulas or whatever is in those bags are the right ones for the job because they do get the moisture out of the air but they release it again in the reservoir or do these type of bags just continue to get the moisture out of the air and only leave the exces water out or somthing like that.
This afternoon i have to be in that shop so ill aks some sales person or thay have some extra info for me but its such a wholesale store so there staff aint that specialised most off the time but i doesn't hurt to try.
Here is a link to the stuff maybe the pics explain it better then i do :roll:
http://www.brico.be/wabs/catalog2006/catal...=252265&param=1
Apperently there are types with tabs and others with bags so they like to make it difficult and im also not going to take the ones with extra parfume although that might be a nice effect.

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As for those desicator granules I use...There are Calcium pills enrichened with vitamines soluble in water which come in plastic tubes topped with plastic lid containig half of a tea spoon of those granules. Those are contained in small cylinder looking like a fat pill. So, I simply glue those plastic lids with granules to bottom side of my Tupperware lid containers. Check the drug-stores - medicaments, drugs etc come delivered in larger packages which usually have moist protection in shape of small bags filled by those granules. I don't know other than that...chemical suppliers should have them in offer. And yes, you can make your own container and punch small holes through it etc....
I don't quite know what they do, soaking i the moisture for sure...but what happens with it later, don't know. Anyhow, these I use are as I told you – just in case if anything ever enters in. Containers are air and water tight, remember? There's another type of those granules, much larger that have distinctive blue colour. When they soak up enough, they change colour to pink. All you have to do is to heat-dry them until they restore their blue colour and use them again.
As a matter of fact, my containers smell nice due to those tablets and I like it...
Those tablets you posted could easily work....but their price is too high, though.

Blaf

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Youre right i also have had those sacks with granulas in packages that contained items that cant stand moisture ofcoarse i alyet threw them away but i bought such a tablet and i alyet have a good idea on how to place it.
They are indeed not so cheap but one tablet is almost 10 cm in diameter and 4 cm in with so as long as i can preserve it it wil last al long time.
I am thinking of taking a box for a rol of photofilm those small round things with lids.
Then i want to puncture the topside so there are a couple of holes in it and i wane place a small screen somwhere in the midle beneath the holes so i can lay the tablet on it and if there is exces water wich the tablet cant hold it wil drip down in the bottom of the container.
Only god knows where so much water will come from but then i have a nice reusable container i only need to make shure that i secure the lid good.
Those reusable (am i writing this right )granulas sound nice ive heard that they are used in an aplication for shoes to absorp the sweat and then you drie them on a radiator but ill see how long those tabs last and if i come across more of those sacks i will keep them.
The tablets i have here contain calciumchloride and they should smell neutral says the package.

Pirate

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Ok thanks  
Then i have to search around for some ethanol i found one site where they sell it but it is about 20 euro's for 70 cl so it's pretty expensive.  
Maybe iff i search some more i can find a better deal.  
The rubbing alcohol what is it normaly used for, the ethanol i can get is for making youre own alcaholic beverages (kindoff like whiskey but then with fruit flavour and so ,i dont know the english name  )  

Pirate


Buy denatured burning alcohol(the blue smelly stuff you can buy at any gardener store)

This is ethanol with methanol and another substance that awefully smells and very hard is to destillate.

I allways use a ratio of 60/40 or 70/30 with water as the highest percentage.

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Ah thank you Exhile :wink: i came across that burning alcohol yesterday and on the botle it said that it was denatured ethanol around 80 precent
Only it looked kind of brown through the botle but it was a creamy white botle so the colour could be a bit deformed by that.
I have to be there again this afternoon :D so ill take a botle with me.
And Blaf does youre rubbing alcohol has a colour?
Edit after reading the text youve copied/pasted i think that youre rubbing alcohol and this do are different types(i know now i surely must be a rocket scientist to figger that out)
It doen't matter as long it works ofcoarse but i do wonder what that rubbing alcohol is in dutch i never heard of any other type of alcohol wich you put on youre skin exept for the one they use to disinfect wounds you know the one that one that hurts a lot when you use it.
And the translating machine on the internet i used doesn't know "rubbing alcohol" so that search also turned up nothing.

Edit: Ok i got some burning alcohol and Exhile as you said its blue.
On the botle it sais denatured ethanol and 85%.
It also says that it is used for fuel,as a cleaning prduct and stain remover so it's quite multifunctional if i ever stop with pyro as a hoby i still can use it in my bike :roll:
And it was around 2.60 euro so thats a lot more reasonable then 20 euros for 70 cl.


Pirate

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Ahhhh, there you are again. To be honest with you Pirate, the term "rubbing alcohol" came from accross the Big Swamp (Atlantic) and I believe it means desinfecting alcohol...the variety we use in home medicine. And it's completely clear, no dies added...it's transparent like water.

Blaf

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