A1A Ignition Mix
What It Is
This pyrotechnic is an in-house favorite. It’s a blend of zirconium metal (fuel), red iron oxide (oxidizer) and diatomaceous earth (aka superfloss). We blend these by suspending them in solvent for safety purposes. The result is a fine dark red powder.
Why We Like It
We’ve found that A1A works well when used as a transfer charge, transferring energy from a bridge composition to an output charge or another transfer charge.
There are several reasons why we like A1A as a transfer composition and why we think it deserves your attention:
► Generates very little gas
► Emits hot particles
► Thermally stable
► Long shelf life
We think this has an advantage over ZPP, another one of our pyrotechnic chemicals, because we use iron oxide instead of the oxidizer potassium perchlorate. Other benefits include low sensitivity to moisture and heat.
How You Should Handle It
A1A is friction-, impact- and ESD-sensitive, which requires you to be smart about the way you handle it. First, understand that this energetic is one of the more electrostatic-sensitive chemicals in our facilities. Therefore, be vigilant and committed to the basics: only handle it with a velostat scoop and always confirm you are grounded. Second, you’ll want to wear typical personal protective equipment: smock, safety glasses and conductive shoes. If handling more A1A than normal, you may want to add additional safety measures to your PPE. Finally, do all your work behind a shielded and grounded work station. You don’t have to worry about detonation, but the rapid rate at which A1A burns results in a bright flash and audible crack that could cause burns or serious injury depending on how much chemical you’re working with. As for cleanup, make sure you blot the powder with a wet paper towel (50% IPA/DI). Do not rub the powder, as it is friction sensitive.