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Exploring the Applications of Copper (II) Oxide in Military and Commercial Pyrotechnics and Propellants 

Copper (II) Oxide (CuO) is an inorganic compound with a wide range of applications in the pyrotechnics and propellants industries. As a metal oxide, it exhibits unique physical and chemical properties that make it a desirable ingredient for both military and commercial explosives applications. Let’s explore the various applications of Copper (II) Oxide in the pyrotechnics and propellants industries. 

Copper (II) Oxide is commonly used as a burn rate modifier in double base rocket propellants in both military and commercial applications. In a study published in 2019 by Nour Abdel-Ghani et al, the mechanical and thermal properties of double base rocket propellant with a Copper (II) Oxide burn rate modifier were investigated. The study found that the addition of Copper (II) Oxide improved the mechanical properties of the propellant and increased its burn rate, resulting in a more effective and reliable propellant for aerospace applications. 

Beyond its use in propellants, Copper (II) Oxide is also a common ingredient in pyrotechnics. Thermites are pyrotechnic compositions that generate intense heat and are often used for welding or cutting metal. Copper (II) Oxide is an excellent oxidizer for thermite formulations, reacting with a metal fuel such as aluminum or magnesium to create a gasless, high-temperature reaction. Careful modification of the fuel-oxidizer ratio allows an explosives chemist to tune the heat output and burn rate, making it useful in various industrial applications. Its use in thermites further highlights the versatility and importance of this compound in the explosives industry. 

Copper (II) Oxide sees extensive use in the commercial pyrotechnics industry, namely in the production of blue fireworks. When burned in the presence of chlorine, a distinctive blue hue can be achieved. Of particular note, Copper (II) Oxide formulations that incorporate potassium perchlorate and an organic fuel are well regarded by pyrotechnic formulations chemists. Its ability to generate stunning blue colors has made it a popular ingredient in blue pyrotechnic compositions, such as flares, strobes and sparklers. 

Whether your application is for the protection of our Armed Forces or to dazzle audiences, Noah Chemicals offers a variety of Copper (II) oxide products to meet different formulation needs, including ACS Reagent Grade, 99+%, 3N and 5N purity grades. Our products undergo rigorous testing to ensure their purity and reliability in end-use applications. 

As a leading supplier of specialty chemicals, Noah Chemicals is committed to providing high-quality products and exceptional customer service to our clients.  We understand the unique needs of the pyrotechnics and propellants industry and work closely with our customers to develop customized solutions that meet their specific formulation requirements. Be it Quality Assurance, R&D, or full production scale-up, you can count on Noah Chemicals to deliver you the performance and reliability that the energetics industry requires!


  1. Nour Abdel-Ghani et al 2019 IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 610 012036 

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