Smoke mix

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Smoke mix is a composition designed to produce smoke upon ignition. A common formula for a grey/white coloured smoke device is a mixture of the oxidizer Potassium nitrate, and sugar. This formula has another very similar variant in which the ingredients are left in powder form and the granulated sugar is replaced with icing sugar. The volume of smoke produced is approximately 600 times the volume of mixture used. The exact ratio is not as important in this mixture as in candy propellant, which is a similar mixture.

Smoke mix can be made in many ways, you can either mix Potassium nitrate and Sugar dry, in a 60/40 mixture by weight, or, for a better smoke mix, you can melt them down together over an electric hot plate. You should NOT make a batch more than 100 grams total at once, as the larger the batch, the harder it is to evenly cook. For a safer consolidation method than melting see below.



Potassium nitrate 60
Sugar 40


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Plastic mixing cups, digital scales, mixing sticks (paddle pop sticks are fine), visco fuse or black match, plastic container or clip seal bag, heat proof container (i.e. old kitchen pan) and an electric heat source. Try to avoid using a naked flame for a heat source as the direct heat of the flame may ignite the mix, causing you all sorts of problems.

Method 1 ("Safer")

30 parts Potassium nitrate
20 parts Sugar
5 parts liquid fuel (honey or karo syrup) (not essential but makes much better smoke mix)

This method creates optimal thrust and leaves little to no dross at all. Since the sugar can be caramelized, the quality will increase greatly, and the rate of which it caramelizes can be controlled by picking up the pan, or stirring more often.

This may be done indoors as well as out.

In a saucepan.

Add just enough water to dissolve some of the powder. Place saucepan on high and stir constantly until all water is boiled off, and you are left with a light to mid-yellow paste.

Shape in a mold, or allow to cool. The drier, the better! Easy as that. No hard formulas or extensive instructions. Can be completed start to finish in well under an hour!

Method 2 ("Safer")

It must be noted that melting potassium nitrate and sugar together can very often lead to accidental ignition .

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Take the powdered mixture of potassium nitrate and sugar (in the same proportions given) and place it in a paper or soft plastic cup, wet it with enough water to make a thick paste, (as thick as oatmeal). Stir this with a chopstick or plastic spoon until evenly mixed. Then place the wet mixture on wax paper in little mounds of about a tablespoon each, insert a fuse in it, and allow to dry for one or two days. (The drying time will depend on your climate). This will produce a semi-hard lump somewhat similar to the melting process.

If a rock hard lump is desired you can use shellac which comes as a solution in alcohol in the hardware stores for furniture finishing. Note: this is usually methyl alcohol, which is toxic, so best to let it dry outside, or with plenty of ventilation. This is one of the things professional fireworks makers use for binding powders together. A tablespoon of nitrate-sugar powder mixed at room temperature with about a half teaspoon of the liquid shellac will give a thick paste, adjust the mix until you get something as thick as oatmeal. If shellac is used it is necessary to raise the amount of Potassium Nitrate by 5 % to 10% (depending on how much shellac you use). This is necessary to burn the shellac which produces about as much smoke as sugar. Insert the fuse while the mixture is still wet. The shellac mixture dries best if it is not more than a tablespoon at a time, and pressed fairly flat (about 1/4 inch thick), because if large quantities are used it forms an outside crust which prevents the inside from drying. Drying time is two to three days.

If you want a faster drying mixture first dilute the shellac one to three with rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) Use 100% alcohol if you can get it, 90% minimum. Use the diluted shellac in the same proportions (one half teaspoon to 1 tablespoon powder) to make a paste, and this will dry better.

Don’t ignite more than a tablespoon or two of the dried mixture at a time, and only use paper cups as containers, and of course don’t set it off were it could start a fire.

Either of these methods produce about as much smoke as the melting method but with far less risk of it igniting by itself.

Method 3 ("Dangerous")

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As mentioned previously this mixture can be used in a dry state by individually grinding the chemicals into a fine powder and mixing together until it is homogeneous. You can also use icing sugar which is already a fine powder. However you will get a far more superior result if these chemicals are melted together. Also, adding a small spoonful of baking soda to the mixture before the heating phase will slow the burn rate effectively creating more smoke. This method can be dangerous if not followed correctly! The melting of sugar and potassium nitrate can lead to the ignition of the mixture. Do not melt this mixture without taking proper precautions such as having a water source near to control an accidental ignition, never cooking over an open flame, and never cooking inside or near flammable material.

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In this example we are are going to make (outside the house) 50 grams of smoke mix. Measure out 30 grams of potassium nitrate and 20 grams of sugar. Put the sugar in a heat proof container and place over a heat source. Stir it until it melts into a brown, caramel-like liquid.

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At this point, remove the container from the heat source and add the potassium nitrate. Note this mix is very, very hot and will burn you if you get it on your skin. Using a mixing stick scoop out a lump of mixture and plop it on a hard surface, concrete for example... or even better wax paper on concrete. You could even load it into a small tube if you wish.

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While the mixture is still soft insert a length of visco fuse or black match. It will take about 5 minutes to cool to a state where it will be rock hard. When completely cool you can remove it from the hard surface.

Apparently the smoke produced is non toxic, however with all chemicals and burning compositions please treat them with care and respect. Obviously do not light this anywhere that might cause an accidental fire, like dry grass, on top of leaves etc. Also it has been said that reducing both above percentages by 2.5% and adding 5% sulfur works better. A smoke mixture containing sulfur will produce toxic Sulfur dioxide gases. If you wish, this smoke mix may be catalyzed to burn much faster by adding a small amount of red iron oxide (+1%) during the melting phase.

For a slower burning mixture, reduce the above percentages by 2.5% and add 5% Sodium bicarbonate. This slows the burn rate, allowing the mixture to burn longer and preventing it from taking off like a rocket.


Smoke Bombs [1]

I dont know how to make a tutorial like the pro´s. So Im just gonna put som formulas in. Sorry for my bad english :D smoke bombs:

Smoke Bomb 1:
  Carbon tetrachloride 40%
  Zinc dust 40%
  Potassium chlorate 20%

Smoke Bomb 2:
  Carbon tetrachloride 45%
  Zinc Oxide 45%
  Aluminum 10%

Smoke Bomb 3:
  Potassium Nitrate 60%
  Phosphorus 40%

Smoke Bomb 4:
  Ammonium chloride 100%

Smoke Bomb 5:
  Zinc powder 80%
  Sulphur powder 20%

Smoke Bomb 6:
  Sugar 40%
   Sulphur 40%
  Potassium Nitrate 20%

Smoke Bomb 7:
  Sawdust 50%
  Oil 10%
  Potassium Nitrate 40%

Smoke Bomb 8:
  Road Flare chemical? 10%
  Sugar 45%
  Sulphur 45%

Smoke Bomb 9:
   Sugar 40%
  Potassium Nitrate 60%

Smoke Bomb 10:
   Zinc dust 38.5%
  Hexachloroethene 46.5%
  Ammonium chloride 3%
  Potassium perchlorate 12%

Smoke Bomb 11:
  Zinc powder 34%
  Ammonium nitrate powder 66%
  (Put in film canister w/ hole. To light put a few drops of water down the hole and throw.)

Smoke Bomb 12:
  Titanium chloride 100%

Smoke Bomb 13:
  Potassium nitrate 33%
  Sugar 33%
  Wax shavings 34%

Smoke Bomb 14:
  Soak Ammonium Nitrate in water until it dissolves.
  Pour onto newspapers until it dries like cardboard.
  Roll up newspaper and tie tightly with wire.
  For best results, wrap with foil leaving a “chimney” for smoke to come out.
  on the other end, make a hole so you can open it, light, and close it back up.
  (This smoke bomb is really hard to light, so take a butane lighter)

Smoke Bomb 15:
   Get lots of ping pong balls and dissolve them in acetone.
  Mix 4 parts Ammonium nitrate and PVC Glue and 1 part melted ping pong balls.
  Make the potassium nitrate/sugar smoke bomb (melted).
  While the potassium nitrate/sugar smoke bomb is melting, add the ammonium nitrate/PVC glue/ping pong ball mixture and stir them all together.

  Take a small bit and light. If there is a flame, add sawdust to your mixture. If not, you’re done.

Smoke Bomb 15:
  Potassium nitrate 26%
  Sugar 17%
  Ammonium chloride 26%
  Potassium chlorate 28%
  Sodium bicarbonate 3%

Smoke Bomb 16:
  Potassium chlorate 34%
   Naphthalene 33%
   Absorbic acid 33%

Smoke Bomb 17:
   Potassium chlorate 50%
  Sugar 17%
  Charcoal dust 16%
  Naphthalene 17%

Note: All smoke bombs must be mixed and lit, except for #11. If the smoke bomb does not light, try tweaking with the percentages. Also, you can change the percentages to find the maximum smoke production. Some of these smoke bombs can give off deadly fumes and not all are recommended for paintball.

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