How To Make A Colored Fire Flame Projector For Stage Special Effects
A flame projector is generally defined as a tube from which a short-duration, colored fire is fired. They are most commonly used in stage special effects, but can add real interest to an outdoor fireworks show as well. Thanks to Harold Upton of Australasian Spectaculars for this one. He writes:
"We use a lot of flame projectors both indoors and outdoors. We manufacture flame projectors ourselves using smokeless powder, as is used in reloading ammunition. Add 10 grams of powdered barium nitrate to 100 grams of smokeless powder for a green colored fire. Add 7 grams of powdered strontium nitrate to 100 grams of smokeless powder for a red colored fire. We use 50-mm (about 2 inches) diameter, up to 200-mm (about 7-3/4 inches) long cardboard mortars left over from multi-shot (Class C, 1.4 G) cakes to create an awesome indoor/outdoor effect, especially for stage special effects.
Test everything new in a safe open (non-public) place before attempting to use a colored fire flame projector in public in case there is a problem with chemicals or manufacture. Also check local flame projector regulations and laws, many places (including Australia) require a manufacturing license for this.
If we want something unobtrusive for stage special effects work, we just cut the flame projector tube down in size and paint it to match the stage. We have given up on being totally unobtrusive in return for being very safe. We use a 70-mm to 80-mm steel flame projector tube welded to a 150-mm x 150-mm plate with the flame projector tube being 200 to 300-mm long. The cardboard case is placed in this for added security.