This article will explain firework colours. Why and how can fireworks produce different colours when they explode?
Up until the last 100 years or so, all fireworks were simply a yellow, white and orange ‘fire’ colours. It is only in relatively recent years with the technological chemical advancements that we can pick and choose firework colours.
There are two main ways to create firework colours.
Put simply, incandesence is colour produced by heat. When a substance is heated, it will glow within a coloured spectrum. As the substance gets hotter, different colours will appear, from red, to orange, then yellow and finally bright white. Adding metals such as alumiunium, magnesium and titanium can be used to increase the temperature in a controlled method in order to alter firework colours.
But what about the other firework colours? How can we get greens and blues for example? Where this is where luminescence needs to take place. Incansescence cannot be used here since the temperatures required would be too hot for any firework to handle (over 1400 degrees Celsius).
Luminescence is where light is produced using energy other than heat. In fact, it can even occur at room temperature or cooler. Different chemical compounds are introduced into the manufacture of the firework in controlled and stable quantities. Then when the firework is lit, the different chemicals react and bond at an atomic level thus producing even more wonderful colours. Some of the chemicals which make firework colours include:
- Red: Strontium Salts & Lithium Salts
- Oranges: Calcium Salts
- Gold: Iron or Charcoal
- Yellow: Sodium
- White: Various metal heat conductors
- Green: Barium compounds and chlorine
- Blue: Copper compounds and chlorine
- Purple: Mixture of Strontium (red) and Copper (blue) compounds
- Silver: Burning aluminium, titanium or magnesium powder.
So there you have it, a brief and basic introduction into firework colours! Remember here at Fireworks Den, we have fireworks available all year round (and in all sort of colours!) So get yourselves down to our dedicated showroom and tell us your chemical of choice!