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Which Elements Create Colours In Fireworks?

With countless varieties of fireworks available - and a constant demand to create new effects - the demand on those manufacturing the products you enjoy is significant.

From cakes to rockets, the process varies wildly, with the creation of colour naturally integral. But how are all those magnificent colours you see made possible? We take a look at the different elements used in the fireworks' manufacturing process to explain.

Blue

Copper (CU 29) is used to create blue shades in fireworks. It can sometimes also be used to create greens. Zinc (Zn 30) can create blue-to-white colours.

Green

Barium (Ba 56) is a key component for steadying other hazardous chemicals. It is used to create green firework effects. Calcium (Ca 20) is also sometimes used to create green effects.

Gold

Incandesce of Iron (Fe 26), when combined with carbon, is used to make golden effects.

Indigo

To achieve an indigo tone, Cesium (Cs 55) is important; whilst this element can also help to oxidise a firework mixture.

Orange

Calcium (Ca 20) salts are used to create intense orange colours in fireworks.

Purple

A combination of Strontium (Sr 38) and Copper (Cu 29) is commonly used to produce purple firework effects. Whilst a little more complex to manufacture, it is essentially the old colour principle where blue + red = purple.

Red

Strontium (Sr 38) and Lithium (Li) salts are used to create a range of red colours in fireworks.

Silver

The silver sparkles commonly seen within fireworks are often created through the use of Titanium (Ti 22).

Violet

Rubidium (Rb 37) is used for the creation of a violet-to-red colour, whilst Potassium (K 19) is useful for oxidising firework mixtures. This can help to create a purple-pink colour.

White

When Magnesium (Mg 12) is burnt, it creates a brilliant white colour, which can add an additional layer of spectacle to any pyro explosion. Aluminium (Al 13) is also used to create white flames and sparkle effects.

Yellow

Firework manufacturers looking to produce yellow colours turn to Sodium (Na 11).

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