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Патент USA US3030253

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United States Patent
provides su?icient available oxygen to make the com
position ‘function at high altitudes under conditions of
limited oxygen supply. Furthermore,the proposedtcom
David Hart,.Dover,.NJ., assignor to the United States
Xi; America as‘represented- by the Secretary of the
3,t30,243 '
Patented Apr. "17, 1962
No Drawing. Filed‘Feb. 24,‘19’58,'Ser. No.'717,'275
I‘S‘Cl?illlS- (Cl.»149—42)
position has proved to be stable .in the presence of mois
ture and to possess adesirably high heat of reaction.
The following composition represents .a preferred em
bodimentof the ?rstl?re and igniter composition of this
(Grantedmnder'Title?S, ULSsCOde (-1952), see. 266)
The invention described herein may be manufactured 10 Zirconium,.powdered ________________________ _ 75:2
and used'lby or :for the-‘Government- for ‘governmental
r ‘Sulfur
Potassium perchlorate___, ______________ __‘____ 5:1
purposes without the payment to .rmesof any royalty
An' additional'5:1% of cellulose nitrate lacquer ‘may
Theipresent‘inventionrelates ‘to anew type of ?rst
be vblended with the above vmixture to serve as a binder.
"tire and ‘igniter composition primarily adapted for use in 15 Allipercentages given'above and elsewhere in this dis
powder 'trains ‘of " ammunition‘to‘ ‘provide a de?nite ‘ burn
closure are percentages by weight unless speci?callyrdesig
ing time interval. "More'par'ticular-ly, this invention're
nated otherwise.
lates to a ?rst ?re and igniter composition of the type
e Other binders may be used in the same proportion in
used in ?ring devices such as squibs and igniters which
place of the cellulose nitrate lacquer of the preferred
are generally used with‘ military pyrotechnics such as 20 embodiment given above. _' Examples of such’ binders are
?ares, signals, ramjet and rocket igniters, smokes, guided
‘ polyesters, for example, Laminacv (a synthetic resin con- -
missiles and similar munitions and which will ignite
sisting of 100 percent reactive copolymers); polystyrene,
readily and function at altitudes up to 250,000 feet or
Thiokol (a polysul?de synthetic‘ rubber having the for
higher and at speeds exceeding that of sound.
mula C2H2S4 made by the interaction of ethylene dichlo
Compositions heretofore used in ?rst ?re and igniter 25 ride and sodium polysul?de); epoxy resins and similar
mixtures, as well as electric squib's for the ignition of
liquid polymers.
pyrotechnic devices and other munitions, have a serious
The proportions of the ingredients of the ?rst ?re and
disadvantage in that they are di?icult to ignite, or will
igniter composition of this invention may be varied over
not ignite at reduced pressures below atmospheric pres
a wide range to achieve any desired burning time. In
sure and will not cause the ignition of the next’ element 30 order to obtain longer burning times, less zirconium and
in the powder train of the munition in which they are
greater amounts of sulfur and binder may be used up
designed to function. Since many pyrotechnic devices
to a maximumrof 60 percent zirconium, and- 10 percent
and other munitions such as ?ares, signals, photo?ash
(binder. For shorter burning times the percentage of
bombs and cartridges, rockets and guided missiles are
potassium perchlorate can be increased up to 20 percent
now employed at very high altitudes and, in some in 35 at the expense of the sulfur. Speci?cally, the ingredients
stances, r'rorn planes having speeds in excess of the speed
of this igniter composition may vary as follows:
of sound, it is essential that the ?rst ?re compositions,
igniters and squibs used to initiate such"m-unitions' or
Zirconium powder _________________________ __ 60-70
elements thereof, ignite readily and ‘function. at very high
altitudes such as, for example, 250,000 feet or higher and 40 Sulfur _____
Potassium perchlorate ______________________ __ 5-20
at speeds exceeding that of sound.
Binder ______ _..'_ _________________________ __
It is, therefore, a primary object of this invention to
provide a composition which when used in a squib, ig
These new igniter, ?rst ?re and squib compositions are
niter, and ?rst ?re mixture, will be very easy to ignite
very readily prepared. However, careful control of the
at reduced air pressures and under conditions of limited 45 particle size of the ingredients is essential for proper re
oxygen supply suchas exist at very high altitudes, such
sults. It is desirable that all of the ingredients be ?nely
as 250,000 feet or even higher.
divided so as to pass through a 250 ‘mesh screen.
It is a further object of this invention to produce a
Zirconium powder, however, should all pass through a
?rst ?re and igniter composition which may easily be
325‘ mesh screen.
ignited electrically by means of a heated resistance wire 50
In order to produce a ?xed, more uni-form burning time
or which will ignite from a primer or ?ash at reduced
over extreme temperature ranges, the zirconium powder
may be dichromated. The powdered zirconium may be
It is a still further object of this invention to provide
dichromat'ed by immersion in an aqueous solution of from,
a mixture for use as a ?rst ?re and igniter composition >
1 to 20% sodium dichromate containing less than one
which will operate satisfactorily at very high altitudes 55 percent of an alkali acid sulfate and boiling for oneehalf
and at speeds exceeding that of the speed of sound.
hour. After ?ltering, the dichromated powder is dried
Pursuant‘ to the objects listed above, I have‘ discovered , at 100° C.
that compositions containing powdered zirconium, sulfur
Incorporation of the powdered ingredients is accom
plished by blending with nitrocellulose lacquer which has
together with a binder, when used as an igniter or ?rst 60 been diluted with sufficient solvent for effective mixing.
and potassium perchlorate, in a very ?nely divided state,
?re composition, or both, or when used in a squib con
taining abridge wire, will be readily ignited and, in turn,
‘ For this purpose any of the common solvents for nitro
cellulose may be emplo ed.
In the foregoing description I have described the pre
powder or explosive train- at sub-atmospheric pressures
ferred embodiment of my invention. However, it is not
under such conditions as exist at altitudes of 250,000 feet 65 intended that this invention be limited to the speci?c ex
or higher.
amples set forth above as it will be apparent to those
None of the related compositions taught by the prior
skilled in the art that by varying the proportions of the
will readily ignite the next element or composition in a
combining ingredients; viz, metals and solid non-metallic
elements, the burning rates of the ignition composition
art“ are considered suitable for use as a ?rst ?re composi
tion to ignite pyrotechnic compositions of similar items
at high altitudes where there is very little oxygen avail
able in the atmosphere. The composition of this inven
tion, however, containing as it does potassium perchlorate,
may be varied over a wide range without departing ‘from
the spirit of the invention or exceeding the scope of the
appended claims.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as
5. A ?rst ?re and igniter composition capable of func~
new is:
tioning under rare?ed atmospheric conditions consisting
essentially of, ‘by weight, 73 to 77 percent zirconium, 18
1. A ?rst ?re and igniter composition consisting essen
tially of, by weight, 60 to 75 percent of zirconium, 5 to
30 percent of sulfur, 5 to 20 percent of potassium per
chlorate, all of said ingredients ‘being ?nely divided so
to 22 percent sulfur, 4 to 6 percent potassium perchlorate,
all of said ingredients ‘being ?nely divided so as to pass
through a 250 mesh screen.
as to pass through a 250 mesh screen.
6. The composition according to claim 5 wherein said
composition contains 4 to 6 percent of cellulose nitrate.
zirconium is su?icientl-y ?nely ‘divided so as to pass
7. The composition according to claim 5' wherein the
through a 325 mesh screen.
10 zirconium is dichromated zirconium.
3. The composition according to claim 1 wherein the
8. The composition according to claim 7 wherein the
zirconium is in the dichromate form.
zirconium dichromate is sufficiently ?nely divided so as
4. The composition according to claim 1 wherein an
to pass through a 325 mesh screen.
organic resinous hinder selected from the group consisting
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
of a synthetic resin composed of 100% reactive copoly 15
mers, polystyrene, polysul?de synthetic rubber having the
2. The composition according to claim 1 wherein the
formula C2H4S4 made by the interaction of ethylene di
chloride and sodium polysul?de, epoxy resins and similar
liquid polymers, is present in amounts of from 5 to 10
percent ‘by weight.
Audrieth ____________ __ Nov. 12,
Hale _________________ __ Oct. 12,
Hart _________________ __ Dec. 7,
Fink et al _____________ __ Dec. 16,
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