Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 138, Issue 4, pp 2883–2890 | Cite as

Thermal stability evaluation of multiple tubes of fireworks by calorimetry approaches

  • Wei-Cheng Lin
  • Wei-Chun ChenEmail author
  • Chi-Min ShuEmail author


Fireworks are constructed of powder and other materials that can readily release light and heat by oxidation reaction. Pyrotechnic compositions are highly susceptible and readily result in explosive decomposition. Fireworks have led to numerous accidents during their manufacture, storage, and display. Water as an impurity affects the decomposition properties of fireworks, and consequently influences their emission safety. This research focused on the thermal stability of multiple tubes of propellant, effect pieces, and propellant mixed with water using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermokinetic analysis. The thermokinetic method was employed to determine the apparent activation energy and predict the long-term stability of dry and humid propellants. According to the predicted results, the decomposition of dry and humid propellants was severely limited after 30 days at an isothermal condition of 80 °C. However, the DSC tests indicated that water could substantially influence the heat release, emission ability, and sensitivity of the propellant. The exothermic peak for the humid propellant was ca. 275 °C, which was lower than dry propellant of 318 °C. The water visibly diminished the heat emitted from and peak intensity of the propellant. Insufficient energy supply might result in lower emission height, and lower exothermic onset temperatures in wetted propellant could lead to faulty ignition times. Therefore, contact with water (that could lead to water infiltration) should be avoided to increase the probability of successful launching and ignition.


Pyrotechnic composition Explosive Emission safety Long-term stability Humid propellant 

List of symbols


Frequency factor (s−1)


Apparent activation energy (kJ mol−1)


Heat transfer coefficient (W m−1 K−1)


Rate constant (mol L−1 s−1) (i = 1, 2)


Mass (mg)


Reaction order (dimensionless)


Reaction order of ith stage (dimensionless)


Universal gas constant (8.31415 J K−1 mol−1)


Temperature (°C)


Apparent exothermic onset temperature (°C)


Critical temperature of thermal explosion (°C)


Exothermic onset temperature at the relatively low heating rate near zero (°C)


Exothermic onset temperature at the heating rate of i (°C)


Time to maximum heating rate under isothermal conditions (min)


Time (s)


Self-accelerating decomposition temperature (°C)


Autocatalytic constant (dimensionless)


Degree of conversion (dimensionless)


Heating rate (°C min−1)


Most probable kinetic function (dimensionless)


Heat of decomposition (J g−1)



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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Engineering Science and TechnologyNational Yunlin University of Science and Technology (YunTech)DouliouTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Bachelor Program in Interdisciplinary StudiesYunTechDouliouTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.Department of Safety, Health, and Environmental EngineeringYunTechDouliouTaiwan, ROC

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