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What you need to know about pyrotechnic initiation and how it works.

Energic materials


Chemical compounds

Davey Bickford's historical core competences are composition, manufacturing and implementation of energetic materials  including primary explosives and primary pyrotechnic compositions. 

Primary explosives are compulsory to start the detonation of secondary explosives. They are known as the most sensitive and hazardous energetic materials and cannot be transported as such, that's why DBD manufactures and implements the compounds needed for its activity.

Pyrotechnic compositions are RED/OX mixes able to generate effects of temperature, flame and/or gas.


What is initiation?

Initiation is a science allowing the exploitation of effects resulting from the decomposition an of explosive substance according to 3 schemes, from the slowest to the quickest: combustion, deflagration, and detonation.

Pyrotechnic initiators are components placed ahead of pyrotechnical trains which transformation will inevitably be pyrotechnical.


An initiator is an energy amplifier able to transform a low amplitude input signal which can be either electrical, mechanical, thermic, or optical and generate an effect fitted to the desired requirement:

  • Flame (igniters, squibs…)

  • Temperature (igniters, squibs)

  • Gas generation (squibs, gas generators, cartridges…)

  • Shockwave generation (electric, non-electric and digital detonators)

  • Activation of a mechanical effect (pyromechanism…)

DBD Workers working safely
Meeting at DBD plant


What makes DBD special?

By calibrating chemical compounds to adapt their decomposition scheme to the exact effect needed to induce the right behavior, DBD is able to propose the perfect initiator for the accurate action: ignite, pulse, break, blow, sever and more, all in a split second period.

DBD is also able to provide the most convenient way to arrange and program the execution of these actions.

Even better, the R&D team can imagine the initiator which will answer your technical problem in size, force and effect, whether you require 10 or 100 000 of them.

We help the little spark in your head turn into a loud bang.

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