What It Is
BKNO3 is a versatile energetic chemical with multiple uses at PacSci EMC. It’s a fuel-oxidizer mixture made up of approximately 24% boron, 71% potassium nitrate and 5% polyester binder. At times, we blend it at PacSci EMC but we also purchase this composition from Pyrotechnic Specialties Inc., a trusted Georgia-based manufacturer.
BKNO3 may be purchased as either granular powder or prepressed pellets
Why We Like It
BKNO3 is an excellent pyrotechnic because of its stability—it’s not friction- or heat-sensitive and is only somewhat sensitive to static and impact. Other benefits of this energetic chemical include:► Burn rate is minimally affected by ambient pressure
► Thermally stable
► Vacuum stable
► Generates gas and hot particles
► Long-lasting shelf life
As such, we use it with our gas generators and as an igniter for rocket motors. However, it can also be used in fuzes and certain propellants. BKNO3 is one of the only MIL-STD-1901A-compliant materials you can use for missile and rocket motor systems. Also, we like to use BKNO3 with laser initiated products.
How You Should Handle It
Whereas A1A is less stable and can create more dangerous situations if something goes wrong, BKNO3 is less of a concern.
In terms of storage, you’ll need to ensure you keep your BKNO3 dry. If it becomes too wet because of humid conditions or other situations, the moisture will oxydize the boron and degrade the chemical’s ability to emit energy.
Wear your PPE when you’re working with this energetic. Though its toxicity levels are low to moderate, you want to make sure you avoid inhaling any dust in the area in which you’re working.
In milligram and gram amounts, BKNO3 doesn’t pose any acute dangers. However, understand that, like A1A, this energetic won’t detonate but it burns rapidly and can produce sparks.
When you’re cleaning up your work area, ensure that you flush it with 50% IPA/DI water and blot up the area with paper towels.