WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: If you are underage, then consult with your parents or guardians before attempting any of this. You are on your own - I'm not responsible for your actions or harm you may bring to others because of your actions. Making the items described below can result in injury or death to you or people in your vicinity. Some things mentioned here may be illegal to make in your city, county, state, or country so check the laws that apply to you before you attempt anything described here. These notes are not complete on purpose. If you are reading them and new to pyrotechnics, then you are making a mistake. Stop now - this page is not for you. Get a beginning book on fireworks (see Skylighter or American Fireworks News (very quick shipping) for a start) and read up. You can't make any of this work without more information so read up or join a club or ask someone to help you
Glusatz is the name of a slow burning mixture used in German "Knallkorpers" (matchbook firecrackers).
Glusatz burns reliably and can be used for long time delay fuses. See the video at the end of this page. The following glusatz formula purports to burn at 30 seconds per inch. However, made the way shown it burns somewhere around 14 seconds per inch.
You can experiment with different proportions of ingredients to adjust the burn speed. The mixture seems to burn reliably even if modifying the quantities by several percentage points.
Barium nitrate 75.5
Charcoal (airfloat - Skylighter or Service Chemical charcoal works fine) 10
CMC 0 .5
Dist. water +6 (dissolve CMC first then add remaining ingredients)
Source: Glusatz was described in a book called "Big Bang Theory and Practice" which I have not seen. The reference to the book was gleaned from several older posts on rec.pyrotechnics. Glusatz was also described on the APC forum. Specific names of posters are left off but I will cite them if they wish (contact us by using the email address on the index page).
Barium nitrate is poisonous. Wear gloves, mask and wash clothes after exposure. It is normally a good idea to mix this outside to avoid shop contamination.
First, assemble the ingredients. I like to chuck the ingredients in a small mill and let it run for about 15 minutes - just to consolidate the different powders. That also cuts down on the barium nitrate dust since the mixing is done in the enclosed container. However, milling causes the speed to increase so only mill for a short while. The basic formula burns at about 14 seconds per inch if milled for 15 minutes in a rock tumbler. You can take out the meal-D and decrease the barium nitrate to make it burn slower. No meal-D and 70% barium nitrate, made with this method, burns at about 22 seconds per inch.
Like all pyro processes, settle on one way of doing this and don't change. That way you can repeat the process at a later date. Do not mill inside the house - choose a remote area. This mix contains both fuels and oxidizers.
I usually make about 200 grams at a time. 200 grams will make dozens of fuses.
After milling ingredients, screen and put in a baggy
We'll do an example using a 1/4" cracker case and
a teaspoon of mix (which would make several fuses)
You can make your own cases with some paper and a 1/4" rod. Just wrap three or four wraps and glue. This is one example where you don't have to have a perfect case to make things work.
Wet with acetone. You can use distilled water but
acetone dries much quicker so I use it often.
Punch a case into the mix until it fills
Use a 1/4" rod, hand pack until the case fills to about 5/16" of the top.
Slip in a loop of black match or other fuse and continue to tamp composition around the fuse until it is within 1/8" or so of the top
You can dip the ends in NC lacquer and use
as is - or take a couple of match heads and put them in the top beside the black match.
I've used both 'strike anywhere' and 'strike on box' kitchen matches. Both work fine.
Caution: If stuffing match heads into this, use common sense. An accidental ignition will just be frustrating if you do this with all your extra powder and energetic materials safely covered or stored away.
If you use match heads, then seal with NC lacquer. Sealing the heads makes them much safer to work with and it holds them in place.
If you make 'strike anywhere' glusatz fuses, be sure to cover the heads with nosing, like a small paper tube, when storing. Don't store with other energetic materials.
Let the fuse dry overnight or for a couple of days
if you used water instead of lacquer thinner.. You can
leave off the fusing and match heads and light with
a torch but the fusing makes it much easier. When it burns to the end, there will be just a slight flame - so make sure whatever you are igniting is intimately attached to the fuse.
You can aid the ignition properties of the fuse by starting the fuse end with 1/4" BP mixed with 5% Ti. When the BP and Ti light, it will spit out a good flame.
Click on the above image for a video example.
The video is 1 meg and lasts about 1.5 minutes.