An Improved Titanium Sparkler
Mix the titanium, dextrin and hydroxy propyl guar (guar gum) with a sufficient quantity of WARM water to form a thick glop and stir for a while. Then add the potassium perchlorate and continue stirring, adding more water, until the consistency of the mixture is thick enough for dipping. When this consistency is reached, dip wires in it one or more times, allowing the coating to dry between dips, until the desired coating length and thickness are achieved. The wires can be from coat-hangers or, for a straighter, more professional appearance of the finished sparklers, bundles of 8-foot wires used for suspended ceilings can be purchased from a building supply store and cut to the desired length. Don’t let the weird name of hydroxy propyl guar scare you! The gum is a thickening agent used to make soda pop taste like more than just colored water and is readily available and cheap. Its inclusion in the mix makes it possible to get a good, thick coating in two dips. I an sure Chempac or other suppliers would stock it if a few people would request it. As noted, it costs very little and makes the slurry cling to the wires with only minimal dripping while drying. With commercial sparklers getting worse in quality every year, and considering the spectacular effect produced by titanium sparklers, both visual and audible, I hope everyone will try this easy and (almost) “sure to work right the first time” process to make really stupendous sparklers: Our great thanks to the one-and-only Bruce Snowdon, who developed the original titanium sparkler formula while making continuous inroads into the technology of titanium combustion engineering and related fields and woods. Anyone who tried Bruce’s Spirit of America sparklers, with their cascade-like brilliance and “roar”, might wonder how they could be improved, but apparently the addition of that weird gum not only expedites their manufacture but enables thicker coatings and even fiercer burning. Many thanks to Don for this latest “technical article” – Van.