Flash Compounds

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Flash Compounds


mixtures for igniting powders, solid rocket fuels, and pyrotechnic compositions such as incendiaries and illuminators. The action of flash compounds consists in heating part of a flammable material to its ignition temperature.

The combustion temperature of a flash compound must be at least 200° C higher than the ignition temperature of the material being ignited. The higher the combustion temperature of a flash compound and the greater the amount of cinder that remains on the surface of the material being ignited, the stronger the action of the flash compound. Flash compounds contain a fuel (coal, sulfur, magnesium, or zirconium), oxidizers (potassium nitrate or barium peroxide), and often a binding substance such as resins or glues. An example of a commonly used flash compound is a mixture containing 48 percent barium nitrate, 30 percent barium peroxide, 13 per-cent magnesium, and 9 percent iditol (a resin); another ex-ample is a mixture with 75 percent potassium nitrate, 15 per-cent magnesium, and 10 percent iditol.


Shidlovskii, A. A. Osnovy pirotekhniki. Moscow, 1964.
Ellern, H. Military and Civilian Pyrotechnics. New York, 1968.
Vspomogatel’nye sistemy raketno-kosmicheskoi tekhniki. Moscow, 1970. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.