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How Do Fireworks Work?

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How Do Fireworks Work?

 Have you ever wondered how fireworks are made?  Despite all their different colours, shapes, and sounds, all fireworks have the same basic components.

Inside every firework that you launch into the air, there is a solid container called a shell that is usually made of some heavy paper. The shell contains many small parts that work together in the sky to create an explosion followed by a show of colours. One of the main parts inside the shell is called gunpowder. Gunpowder is a powdery black material that is made up of several substances that can burn really fast. They burn so fast that it actually looks like an explosion.


So what causes the firework to launch into the air?
More gunpowder! However, this gunpowder is found inside a tightly packed canister inside the shell called a lift charge. It is packed so tightly that when it is lit on fire, it creates a powerful force that actually lifts it into the air at a fantastic speed!
What Happens When a Firework is Lit?
When someone lights a firework, a tiny spark burns along a paper-like fabric string, also called a fuse. This fuse was tested carefully and measured by professionals in order to reach the shell at just the right height in the air. As the spark travels up the fuse, it reaches the charge first, which launches the firework into the air. It continues to burn as it rises into the sky until the spark next reaches the shell.

You know what comes after that! The large amount of powder in the shell burns up quickly, creating a pop or cracking sound emitting colourful stars that give you the firework effect.

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  • Peter Hemmings
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