Strobes: Pyrotechnic Compositions That Show a Curious Oscillatory Combustion

Authors

  • Justine M. L. Corbel,

    Corresponding author
    1. TNO Technical Sciences, Energetical materials department P.O. Box 45, 2280AA Rijswijk (The Netherlands)
    2. Condensed Matter and Interfaces, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80 000, 3508 TA Utrecht (The Netherlands)
    • TNO Technical Sciences, Energetical materials department P.O. Box 45, 2280AA Rijswijk (The Netherlands)

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  • Dr. Joost N. J. van Lingen,

    1. TNO Technical Sciences, Energetical materials department P.O. Box 45, 2280AA Rijswijk (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. John F. Zevenbergen,

    1. TNO Technical Sciences, Energetical materials department P.O. Box 45, 2280AA Rijswijk (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. Onno L. J. Gijzeman,

    1. Condensed Matter and Interfaces, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80 000, 3508 TA Utrecht (The Netherlands)
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  • Prof. Dr. Andries Meijerink

    1. Condensed Matter and Interfaces, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80 000, 3508 TA Utrecht (The Netherlands)
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Abstract

Strobes are pyrotechnic compositions which show an oscillatory combustion; a dark phase and a flash phase alternate periodically. The strobe effect has applications in various fields, most notably in the fireworks industry and in the military area. All strobe compositions mentioned in the literature were discovered by trial and error methods and the mechanisms involved remain unclear. Many oscillatory systems such as Belousov–Zhabotinsky reactions, cool flames, self-propagating high-temperature synthesis have been observed and theories developed to elucidate their unstable behavior based on chemical interactions or based on physical processes. These systems are compared to experimental observations made on strobe mixtures.

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