A technique dating from the 7th century
According to the literature, the origin of pyrotechnics dates back to the seventh century when it appeared in China, particularly in the Shanxi region, rich in deposits of saltpetre, an essential component of black powder, and in Byzantine Greece with Greek fire.
Pyrotechnics arrived in Europe in the thirteenth century, imported by Marco Polo, as legend has it, for military and entertainment activities.
Colour fireworks made an appearance in Italy in 1540.
Nowadays used in numerous fields, pyrotechnics proved its worth thanks to great scientists such as Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, Marcelin Berthelot and Paul Vieille.
For a long time its usage was limited to festive or war-related activities.
The airbag, a precursor of civil pyrotechnic applications
Its civil applications developed significantly in France in the 1970s with the development of the first airbags for passive automotive protection.
Initially reserved for luxury vehicles, this technology became more commonplace and globalised at the request of motorists.
Today, certain high-end vehicles feature over 20 pieces of pyrotechnic equipment (side and front airbags, bonnet lifters, seatbelt pretensioners, knee protectors, anti-submarining systems, circuit breakers, fuel-supply breakers and battery isolators for electric cars).
The impact of pyrotechnics in motor vehicles has triggered a strong dynamic in civilian applications, previously limited by regulatory constraints and lack of knowledge of procedure.
From nuclear safety to sea-floor exploration
Made commonplace by the airbag, industrial civilian pyrotechnics now extends to many fields, including personal safety, nuclear safety and industrial processes, weapons systems and aerospace applications, with this technology capable of deployment in extreme or even inaccessible environments, from the ocean floor to the highest altitudes.
The very characteristics of the equipment and systems incorporating pyrotechnic materials (power, compactness, availability, reliability and security), make them essential in the fields of defence, industry and aerospace, notably for security applications.
These fields represent the scope of preference and expertise at TETHYS®, which assures the design, development and production of a range of equipment and pyromechanical systems, constantly aiming for a maximum level of operating safety, fully in compliance with regulatory constraints.