Smokeless Flash Powder

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Many law enforcement and military personnel employ flash grenades as one method of entering an area containing hostile targets. The flash grenades provide sound and light in order to blind and deafen hostile targets in order to subdue them as safely as possible. During employment of such devices, the law enforcement or military personnel normally wear some type of eye protection in order to ensure that they are not blinded by the flash grenade.

The flash powder normally used in creating the light and sound normally contains potassium perchlorate and aluminum powder. While this mixture produces effective light and sound report, it also produces a significant amount of smoke through the formation of potassium chloride and aluminum oxide. This obscurant smoke has the effect of blinking the law enforcement or military personnel as well as hostile targets.

Therefore it is desired to provide a flash powder for use in flash grenades that produces an adequate light and report mission as well as reduces smoke produced by the powder.

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), has patented a flash powder formulation that produces a report and light, but reduced smoke emissions. The formula is a mixture of zirconium hydride, ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN) and a binder material. Zirconium hydride was chosen because it is less dangerous to handle than metallic powders. When the powder reacts, it produces H20 which reduces environmentally harmful byproducts that are normally present such as metallic oxides and perchlorates.

Produces minimal smoke
Environmentally friendly

Potential Applications:
Theatrical pyrotechnics
Fireworks or firecrackers
Law enforcement
United States
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
The Convergence Center
101 Foundry Drive, Suite 2500
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: (765) 588-3475
Fax: (765) 463-3486