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How To Make Black Powder Coated Rice Hulls Burst Charge

Black powder coated rice hulls are commonly used as a burst charge in aerial shells. Many people have trouble finding commercial-quality fine black powder (commonly called "meal" or Meal-D) to use for coating rice hulls for shell burst. Homemade black powder made by simply screening the ingredients together several times will burst shells just fine. The ingredients for black powder are:

Potassium Nitrate

Bob Svenson offers this tip for coating rice hulls with black powder:

"Here's a rice hull tip that was in American Fireworks News awhile back (from Tom Perigrin, I believe).

When making your [coated] rice hulls, divide the black powder up into 5 increments. Add 5% dextrin to the first four black powder increments.

Now soak and drain your rice hulls as usual [for an hour in warm water]. Add the first increment of black powder and shake, rattle, and roll as usual. Add the next black powder increment, shake, rattle, roll. Repeat until there are four increments of black powder on the rice hulls.

Now for the secret to really nice rice hulls: do not add dextrin to the last increment of black powder! The dextrin makes the black powder sticky so it sticks to the rice hulls and to the next layer of black powder. On the last layer the rice hulls are already coated with sticky black powder so the dextrin-less black powder will stick just fine, BUT since the sticky rice hulls are coated with non-sticky black powder they won't stick together into lumps! Really shake the rice hulls good on the last black powder increment to break up the lumps and coat them with dextrin-less black powder.

This works great! It makes really nice and fluffy individually coated rice hull grains that make great aerial shell burst!

Materials Needed
Read and review these Fireworks Safety Articles before starting any fireworks project.

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