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Home : Salute Cake Test

Dominator Salute Test - 76 Pyro Article

Testing of 27 stacked, 32 Shot - 2.5 inch salute cakes.      

Total powder content 87,480 grams!

Video Footage of explosion of 87,480 grams of flash powder


An interesting project that we just finished was for the APA and Dennis Coster of Fireworks Productions, Inc.   Denny runs a large Class B display business and serves on Committee for the American Pyrotechnics Association.  Recently there have been some concerns over the classification of popular professional salute cakes as 1.1G.  This classification would make storage of them cost prohibitive and most likely would mean the use of these popular cakes could no longer continue in the USA.    Denny asked if there was any way that we could help him to conduct a preliminary test firing of bulk salute cakes to simulate an fire in a typical fireworks warehouse.  If we could prove that the cakes burn rapidly, and do not detonate, then maybe the APA would have some leverage in their negotiations.  We gladly took on the challenge as igniting a huge stack of 2.5 inch 36 shot salute cakes sounded like a lot of fun.   

The requirement that Denny set out was a stack of 27 cakes surrounded by a plywood box with the ignition to the center cake.   We built the cakes, but then started to think about where we were going to do the test firing.    500 grams of powder is the maximum allowed for any consumer fireworks device.   This stack of salute cakes was to contain 87,480 grams of flash powder!   

With this huge amount of explosive power, we set about with the help of the local government to find a suitable location.  After several days of searching, we found the ideal location, a rice field with large earth embankments on one side.   We set up the test and retreated to a safe distance behind the embankments.  

The result of the test was as we had hoped, the cakes when off with a huge roar, however they burned rapidly, they did not mass detonate.  Standing several hundred feet away the explosion was spectacular and even a hardened pyro such as myself was intimated by the shear power.   This was a great reminder for me to always maintain the utmost respect for the power of fireworks. 

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