The issues

The use of electric igniters in pyrotechnic displays and events has multiplied greatly in the last 30 years.  For instance, for a typical (medium sized) professional outdoor firework display:-

30 years ago – a few igniters might have been used to fire a “front” of gerbs simultaneously – let’s say 10 per show

15 years ago – igniters were used to fire sequences of shells and candles – but pyrotechnic delays were used to interconnect the items within a single sequence –  let’s say 100 igniters per show

Now – with the increasing use of single shot devices, and the demands of computerised and sophisticated firing systems every firework can have an individual igniter – let’s say 1000 per show

So in 30 years the uses has increased 100 fold.  This obviously means that there is a financial imperative to use cheaper igniters – which may mean lower quality, which may mean that the likelihood of an accidental ignition is greatly increased.

This project aims to look at the practical use of igniters and to rate their sensitivities under a variety of stimuli.