Roman Candle Firework
A Roman candle firework is one of those pyrotechnic items that nearly everyone has seen or tried at least one time in their lives. Straightforward to describe, a Roman candle firework is manufactured as a long cardboard tub about 18-inches or so that is filled with various fireworks compounds that shoot out spectacular “star” effects up into the air. A Roman candle firework repeats over and over again until it has exhausted the supply of pyrotechnic stars housed within the tube – this often makes the crowd of bystanders chant the numbers out loud as each star shoots off. Incorporating a Roman candle firework or two into your fireworks display is a great way to keep spirits soaring high.
A Roman candle firework is created with pyrotechnic ingredients such as the chemical bentonite, a lifting charge, pyrotechnic stars (the effects that shoot out), black gunpowder and a delay charge. Skillfully assembled inside the large tube, these fireworks are also assembled with a fuse which is used to get the proverbial party started. Many people think that a Roman candle firework is a pretty tame beast in terms of explosive fireworks, but don’t let frequent use or the lax opinions of others fool you.
A Roman candle firework functions thanks to the basic laws of science – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. As the fuse is lit, it burns slowly until it moves down the tube to the first star laying in wait. When the first star is heated and ignites, it is thrust upward out of the tube with the force of a bullet. This projectile force pushes the embers downward into the tube to ignite a layer of delay powder. After this layer of delay powder is burned, the fire triggers the next star to shoot out. The process repeats until every layer of delay powder and every star in the Roman candle firework is shot out – usually ten stars.
Because the fire moves downward to reach each of the stars one at a time, this increases the chance for malfunction. If the tube is bent in any way, the star may become lodged inside the tubing and be unable to shoot out. If the star can’t get up and out by the proper means, it has no other choice but to explode through the side of the tube – an unfortunate consequence for users holding a Roman candle firework in their hands. For these safety reasons, label instructions always tell people to use a designated launching tube or steady the Roman candle firework in the ground or between a pile of rocks.
Those shopping for a Roman candle firework will find plenty of variety in terms of color, noise and special effects such as crackles, comet tails, multiple colors and more. Most roman candles are made to release ten stars (shots) per tube although there are versions of a Roman candle firework that have more or less. Some fireworks distributers will sell a Roman candle firework by the piece, but most are sold in multi-packs of various quantities.