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Smoke Bombs & Formulas
the most common smoke formula is the Potassium Nitrate/Sugar formula.
It produces a white-gray smoke and is both easy, inexpensive & fun to make.
The percentage of Potassium Nitrate and Sugar in this composition vary somewhat depending
on who you ask, but the 60/40 mix listed below is pretty common.
A lump of this stuff the size of your thumb produced the
smoke cloud on the right in under 2 seconds.
Although the two ingredients can just be finely powdered and mixed
together, in recent side-by-side tests, we found that melting the two
together does in fact make a superior Smoke Bomb.
A step-by-step procedure is outlined below....
Start by making a small size batch (50 grams total). Measure out 30 grams of Potassium Nitrate and 20 grams of Sugar into a small cup. For those of you who cut math class, 30 grams of Potassium Nitrate and 20 grams of Sugar is still a 60% / 40% mixture. If you make a batch larger than 50 grams, it will be very difficult to mix and heat evenly. You can always make more, so don't mix up a giant batch.
Snap a lid on the container and shake to mix the two chemicals together. Pour the mixture into a heat resistant container and set it on your hot plate.
Set the hot plate temperature to medium-high, and about every 30 seconds or so, stir the mixture well, being sure to scrape the material that may start sticking to the bottom.
Over the next several minutes, the mixture will begin to darken and clump. It will soon begin to look like brown sugar, and when it finally mixes smoothly and looks like peanut butter, it is done. If you mixture is turning BLACK, you're heating it a too high of a temperature.
Remove the container from the heat, and scoop out a lump of the sticky mass. You can either just plop some on the concrete, or if you're picky about the way your smoke bombs look, you can make small cardboard molds and press the gooey mass into them. Personally, we just lay it on the concrete.
Before the little blob cools, insert a small piece of Visco Safety Fuse.
Do this to the remainder of the material and allow them to cool and harden.
In about 5 minutes, the material will be cool and become rock hard ( beware that it will stick to the surface while cooling, but is easily removed with a little knock from a hammer. ) Set your Smoke Bomb away from any flammable materials, light the fuse and stand back.
These smoke bombs burn fast and sometimes will jump around a bit. They do produce a little flame when burning, so be careful not to ignite them in or near dry grass, papers, etc.
The smoke from this mixture is essentially non-toxic, but that doesn't mean you should stand in a cloud of it and breathe it all day long.
Like any smoke from burning material, people may be allergic to it, or is my cause eye irritation in some more sensitive folks.
Unfortunately, colored smoke mixes
are a totally different animal.
The nitrate/sugar mix cannot be colored. Colored smoke mixes use an entirely different cool burning mixture and vaporize special low-temperature Aniline dyes to produce colored smoke.
These Aniline dyes are difficult to come across and very expensive. We've never found a reliable source for them.