Re: Where to buy Rice Hulls

Rice Krispies would work for Japanese style shells above, say 4" but
they are brittle and tend to disintegrate into crumbs with handling.
The "puffed rice" type cereals are better as they have a more elastic
texture but they are even larger than Rice Krispies and would be used
in larger shells using something like a KP or meal powder burst. The
rice hulls and cotton seeds are smaller and have less "dead air" than
puffed rice or Krispies. The traditional Jap style ball shells are
loaded by volume, the burst serving to confine stars and components in
their placed positions inside the hemispheres. If you consider a
square inch of properly coated rice hulls or cotton seed compared to a
square inch of puffed rice, you will have more burst powder on the
smaller, denser nuclei, which gives a more powerful break. There is a
balance to be struck in the chrysanthemum/peony burst, with the
variables being quantity (coating density)) and strength of the burst
powder coated on the nuclei ( from H-3 or aluminum flash to just meal
powder) and the pasted wall strength (paper type and number of layers
of same). Then, there are the "hybrid" bursts where a combination of
flash (loose or bagged) is centered among a coated hull secondary
charge. Sometimes in "diadem"" type ball shells, the burst is merely a
flash bag and the stars are randomly filled in around it. This is more
usual with plastic hemispheres but all combinations are possible and
often used in western and Chinese practice and can produce a spherical
For smaller shells (under 5") rice hulls are very convenient and cheap.