How Fireworks Are Made

The beauty and awe of a fireworks show is something that most people wait for all year long. You gather with your family and friends, pull up a lawn chair under the summer sky and can hardly contain the ohhhhs and ahhhhs that escape your mouth while watching the spectacular display. However, what most people do not understand is the perfect mix of creativity and chemistry that go into making a firework. So how is a firework born? Follow us as we share how a lightshow in the sky comes to fruition, from start to explosion.

What’s on the Outside Counts

Ariel fireworks start as a multi-break shell that consists of four parts: the container, the fuse, a bursting charge, and stars. The container has multiple chambers each separated by cardboard disks; the fuse allows the shell to reach the desired altitude before exploding; the bursting charge lights and throws out the “stars” across the sky for excited observers. Black powder is used to propel the firework into the sky by way of a mortar made of iron, aluminum, plastic or heavy cardboard. With the right ingredients (we’ll get to that soon!), the container bursts open with tremendous force and the longer shell can resist the explosion, the bigger the display in the sky.

What’s on the Inside Counts Even More

Inside the shell is the perfect recipe for explosive beauty. Most fireworks use up to 30 different ingredients to achieve soaring success. Materials range from fuel, oxidizing agents, coloring agents, regulators, binders, and even Vaseline just to name a few. The perfect concoction is what creates the loud bangs, whistles and heart-pounding visual effects that take place during a show. To create gorgeous colors, some of the following compounds are used:

  • Copper: blue color
  • Lithium: red color
  • Magnesium: bright white color
  • Sodium: gold or yellow color
  • Phosphorus: colorful glow-in-the-dark effects

While most people lay out their blanket to simply enjoy the sights at a fireworks display, it can also be fun to understand the magic that goes on behind the curtain. Need help creating that magic at your next event? Whether you’re a municipality, business or newly engaged couple planning a wedding, we can help. Contact us today.

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