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How Are Sparklers Made?

It’s hard to find a person who isn’t attracted to the glittery fun of sparklers. These crackling sticks of fire are among the most sold fireworks on our website and the central entertainment of many events from Bonfire Night to New Year’s Eve.

sparklers at diwali fireworks

We’ve looked at the science behind the traditional types of fireworks, but what about sparklers? Here’s a look at what sparklers are made of and the manufacturing process that gives them the unique and entertaining look.

What Are Sparklers Made Of?

Sparklers are essentially made by using three chemical components: a metal fuel, an oxidiser and a binder. It’s also possible to add certain other elements to sparklers in order to enhance the effects or change colours, for example, but the three components are the building blocks of sparklers.

The Metal Fuel

This specific firework is typically made from a metal wire, which is then coated from one end with a mixture of the metal fuel, the oxidiser and the binder. The most commonly used wire is made of iron, which can then be coated in typically four different fuel chemicals:

  • Aluminium & magnesium – light yellow/white glow
  • Iron – red glow
  • Titanium – silver/white glow
  • Ferrotitanium – a golden glow

The above four are the most common colours you see on sparklers. But you can add other chemicals to this metal fuel to give it alternative range of colours. For example, certain salts can create different greens, reds and blues.
You can find out more on the firework colours from our previous post.

An Oxidiser

The oxidisers in sparklers have a crucial role. When the oxidisers are heated as the metal fuel starts burning, they began to decompose and this creates oxygen and other gasses.

In short, the oxidiser ensures the sparkler has the effect and doesn’t just end up looking like burning metal. The process is behind the little sparklers jumping around the wire creating the crackling look.

The most commonly used oxidisers include metal nitrates, chlorates or perchlorates, and potassium nitrate.

A Binder

The final component helps keep the other two components together. Since both the fuel and the oxidisers are simply chemicals in a paste-like form, the binder ensures they stick together and to the wire.

There are different chemicals, which can act as a binder, but the most commonly used is dextrin.In addition, the binder and the above two components are mixed with some water to make the paste smooth and easily applicable on the wire.

Interestingly, some forms of dextrin are also found on foods and are used for medicinal purposes!

Creating the Sparklers

Constructing the sparklers is quite a simple task and mostly automated, unlike fireworks. It starts with a machine cutting the metal wires to a desired length – as you might know there are all sorts of sparklers from long to small.

The wires are then moved along by the machine and place in a position where the mixture of the above chemical components is applied on the wires. The wires are dipped from one end to the paste mixture and allowed to set for a moment. They’ll then be dipped a second time to insure the paste is strong enough for the effect to work.

The sparklers will be allowed to dry fully; often up to a week to ensure the quality is good. They will then be packed and sent off to the retailer. Then it’s up to you to enjoy using them at your parties and events!

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Delivery Information

Next Day

 – You will receive your order the following working day from day of despatch (not including Saturday/Sunday). We endeavour to dispatch all orders placed before 12pm the same day although this is not always possible in our busy season, October – December. If you require your order by a certain date enter this in the “order notes” section on the next page. All dates are treated as the latest date for delivery NOT the date you would like delivery.


Hold For Later Delivery

– This option is for those who would like us to hold on to their order and deliver it nearer to the date of their display. You should enter this date in the “order notes” section on the next page.


Collect from Chelmsford Store

– Select this option if you would like to collect your order. Enter the date you would like to collect and AM/PM in the “order notes” section on the next page. Collection is not available on SATURDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 2019. You will be required to bring the card you used to pay with and photo ID before you can collect your order. THESE MUST MATCH.


Add to Existing Order

 – If you already have an order with us and would like to add to it before it is shipped, select this option then enter your existing order number in the “order notes” section on the next page.


Saturday Delivery

 – Enter the date you would like your order delivered in the “order notes” section on the next page. If this is blank your order will be delivered on the next Saturday after the day of ordering. PLEASE NOTE it is not possible to deliver orders on the Saturday either side of Bonfire Night, Christmas or New Year


AM DELIVERY

 – Your order will be delivered before midday the day after it has been dispatched (excluding Saturday / Sunday)


Before 10:30 am

 – Your order will be delivered before 10:30am the day after it has been dispatched (excluding Saturday / Sunday).