Pyrotechnic Chemistry

Pyrotechnic Chemical Compositions

Pyrotechnic chemical compositions contain an oxidizer component and a fuel component and are used in a wide range of applications: Delay Elements, Flares, Tracers, Igniters, Impulse Cartridges and Primers.

Since pyrotechnic compositions contain an oxidizer component, they do not rely on oxygen from external sources to sustain the reaction.

Pyrotechnic composition particles can be grains or flakes. Generally, the higher the surface area of the particles, the higher the reaction rate and burning speed. For some purposes, binders are used to turn the powder into a solid material.

Chemical Name (click for spec sheet)Specification
Aluminum Powder AtomizedMIL-P-14067
Aminoguanidine BicarbonateMIL-A-60569
Ammonium PicrateMIL-A-60569
Antimony Trisulfide
Antimony Trisulfide (Sb2S3) is used in various priming mixtures, reacting vigorously with oxidizing agents
Barium NitrateMIL-B-162
Bismuth Oxide
Bismuth Oxide (Bi2O3) is an innovative, non-toxic oxidizing system element used in small-arms priming mixtures. It replaces the highly-toxic Barium Nitrate, thus preventing potential health hazards in enclosed shooting areas.
Black PowderMIL-P-223
Calcium SilicideMIL-C-324C
Gum Arabic, Acacia Gum JJJ-A-20
Lead Azide, Dextrinated MIL-L-3055C
Lead Azide, RD-1333 MIL-L-46225C
Lead Nitrate
Lead Nitrate (Pb(NO3)2) is an oxidizing agent qualified for use in the production of Lead Azide and Lead Styphnate. Total heavy metals (silver, copper, cadmium and iron) is below 10ppm.
Lead StyphnateMIL-L-757A
Magnesium OxideMIL-M-51103B
Sodium Picramate
Waterproofing CompoundMIL-C-13783

IPI provides our exclusive virgin Kraft paper surface-coated with nitrocellulose lacquer using state-of-the-art solvent coating
process yielding the highest quality sealing paper in the industry. IPI is recognized as the global leader of sealing paper in
accordance with MIL-P-60169B Type I and Type II.

IPI coated sealing paper provides the Primer manufacturer with uniform coating, superior thickness control and high tensile
properties to eliminate slipped foils realizing high productivity yield and throughput.

IPI Sealing Paper is available in White, Red and Green colors. Custom roll widths and lengths are available.

Used mainly in small arms ammunition for tracking, spotting, incendiary fire and fire control purposes.

Chemical Name (click for spec sheet)Specifiation
Barium ChromateMIL-B-550
Barium NitrateMIL-B-162D
Boron, Amorphous, Powder MIL-B-51092
Calcium Resinate VERIFY LINK - there's another variant of thisMIL-C-20470
Calcium SilicideMIL-C-324C
Calcium SilicateMIL-C-51077
Coating CompoundMIL-C-450
Magnesium-Aluminum Alloy (powdered)JAN-M-454
Magnesium PowderMIL-M-382C
Polyvinyl ChlorideMIL-P-20307
Strontium NitrateMIL-S-20322
Strontium PeroxideMIL-S-612

Delay elements consist of a composition of chemicals (typically a fuel, an oxidizer and an additive) that burn at a slow, constant rate, encapsulated in a small-diameter tube inserted inside the ignition train. This provides a delayed ignition in fuze-based explosive trains, cartridge-actuated devices and other devices.

Delay time accuracy depends on the purity and precise particle size distribution of the chemicals in the composition, along with the exact ratio of materials in the mixture.

Delay CompositionSpcificationFormulationSpecification
Manganese Delay CompositionMIL-M-21383ABarium ChromateMIL-B-550
Lead ChromateJAN-L-488
Manganese PowderJAN-M-476
Tungsten Delay CompositionMIL-T-23132ABarium ChromateMIL-B-550
Potassium PerchlorateMIL-P-217
Tungsten Powder
Tungsten (chemical symbol: W; a.k.a. wolfram) is a high-density (19.3x of water, comparable to uranium or gold) rare metal. Its high density and hardness give it military applications in penetrating projectiles. As a delay composition, it is able to control burn time in pyrochemical compositions, based on both the percentage of tungsten in the composition and the tungsten powder’s particle size distribution. IPI supplies tungsten powder for use in delay compositions and in heavy metal penetrators.
Zirconium Nickel Alloy Delay CompositionMIL-C-13739ABarium ChromateMIL-B-550
Potassium PerchlorateMIL-P-217
Zirconium Nickel Alloy Powdered (Type I and II, 30/70)MIL-Z-1410
Boron/Barium Chromate Delay Composition
(Less sensitive to static electricity and impact than zirconium-based ignition compositions)
N/ABarium ChromateMIL-B-550
Boron AmorphousMIL-B-51092
Vinyl Alcohol Acetate Resin (VAAR)MIL-V-50433

Primer Chemical Precursors

Picric Acid (2,4,6-Trinitrophenol)

See full spec sheet

  • C6H3N3O7
  • CAS No: 88-89-1
  • UN No: 1344
  • Hazard – Flammable Solid 4.1

Sodium Picramate

See full spec sheet

  • C6H4N3NaO5
  • CAS No: 831-52-7
  • UN No: 1349
  • Hazard – Flammable Solid 4.1