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Thread: Smoke bombs

  1. #1 Smoke bombs 
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    Since seeing a demonstration of potassium cholate decomposing and allowing sugar to combust violently and the same with potassium nitrate (both done by science teachers), I have been interested in this sort of pyrotechnics for peaceful purposes like paintballing.
    Any way, I was wondering if a simialr thing could be done with potassium permanganate, I've seen it used for friction fire lighting and adding glycerin for an exothermic reaction but could it be used in smoke bombs ? Also does anyone know WHY some of these produce alot of smoke and others don't.


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  3. #2 Re: Smoke bombs 
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    Quote Originally Posted by loonatic
    Since seeing a demonstration of potassium cholate decomposing and allowing sugar to combust violently and the same with potassium nitrate (both done by science teachers), I have been interested in this sort of pyrotechnics for peaceful purposes like paintballing.
    Any way, I was wondering if a simialr thing could be done with potassium permanganate, I've seen it used for friction fire lighting and adding glycerin for an exothermic reaction but could it be used in smoke bombs ? Also does anyone know WHY some of these produce alot of smoke and others don't.

    Smoke usually indicates an unburned portion of some flammable material. In most cases. It could be sulphur, carbon, metals or a hydrocarbon. It can be steam as well.

    If you change the mixture in a gasoline or diesel car to a richer mix, or leave the choke on when you start the lawn mower. You get the smoke of unburned fuel.

    In the heating industry we set the fuel air ratio of a device, like a gas or oil fired heating system.
    If we set the mixture to rich. Meaning to much fuel. We get usually a very yellow flame, that often contains a portion of the unburned fuel.

    If we make an oil fired flame too rich, this flame can deposit carbon on the unit. If we make an oil fired units flame, too lean we can burn a hole in the back of the firing chamber.

    If for some reason a lean hot blue oil fired flame goes out. And the burner tries to re initiate a flame. And proper ignition does not take place instantly. The oil can be sprayed onto the glowing chamber, creating massive amounts of lean gas, that instantly grabs up oxygen. This lean oxygen rich gas can explode, if or when an ignition system is successful in igniting the flame.

    The rich flame, is dangerous because, the carbon deposited on the walls of the stack or flue, can later on mix with water vapor. And they can become rather flammable. They can flash.

    A lightning strike can also cause a rather violent explosion flying down a carbon coated flue.

    On a gas unit if we make the flame to rich, we can melt metal parts that were not supposed to be hit by the flame. A rich natural gas or propane flame, can become extended, and super heat parts that were not meant to be hit by flame. A small blue flame that never would have come close to the metal.

    The jets on a gas fired unit, can get tiny bits of carbon, built up in the jet, that can hinder the very straight high velocity jet of gas. If this occurs, it can mess up the air flow that is meant to supply fresh air, oxygen to the flame. I actually witnessed a large commercial coffee maker do this. It was funny. It melted the solder holding the pot together. With a six or eight inch yellow flame.




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    William McCormick


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  4. #3  
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    William, your post is off topic, as you should realize if you read the original post. Also, please keep your posts shorter. If you have an answer to a question or something to contribute then you should include what is necessary to say in a short, concise, to-the-point post. And that goes for everyone.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chemboy
    William, your post is off topic, as you should realize if you read the original post. Also, please keep your posts shorter. If you have an answer to a question or something to contribute then you should include what is necessary to say in a short, concise, to-the-point post. And that goes for everyone.
    Carbon is a common product in most fireworks. It adds to the temperature and is a fuel. I just thought that if he was experimenting he might not know that carbon can blow up, under the right circumstances. And how moisture might make it sensitive to friction or static electricity.

    Sorry, I was just covering safety basics of the area he was discussing. It is hard to find out about those kind of accidents.

    Smoke bombs are named that, for a reason because sometimes the harmless product takes off a limb. When put under pressure. Or placed with many others in a small container.

    Oil can be a very powerful, constituent in a smoke bomb. So a new comer, might try to burn some, test it, create a cloud of unburned oil, and detonate the cloud with a second test. After the oil has had time to oxygenate.


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    William McCormick
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  6. #5  
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    He that knows that he does not know is a student-teach him.
    He that knows that he knows is is a teacher - follow him.
    He that does not know that he does not know is a fool- avoid him!
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by fizzlooney
    He that knows that he does not know is a student-teach him.
    He that knows that he knows is is a teacher - follow him.
    He that does not know that he does not know is a fool- avoid him!
    He that does not know he is a student is a poor student.
    He that knows that he is only a teacher, is a poor teacher.
    He that does not know that he has and will act as a fool, is a fool.

    George Washington once said.

    How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.

    But what does this have to do with smoke bombs?


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    William McCormick
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  8. #7  
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    Nothing, same as the off topic answers given
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  9. #8  
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    The smoke bomb you would purchase from a fireworks store usually is made from potassium chlorate (KClO3 - oxidizer), sugar (sucrose or dextrin - fuel), sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda - to moderate the rate of the reaction and keep it from getting too hot), and a powdered organic dye (for colored smoke). When a commercial smoke bomb is burned, the reaction makes white smoke and the heat evaporates the organic dye. Commercial smoke bombs have small holes through which the smoke and dye are ejected, to create a jet of finely dispersed particles. Crafting this type of smoke bomb is beyond most of us, but you can make an effective smoke bomb quite easily. There are even colorants you can add if you want to make colored smoke. Let's start out with instructions for the easiest/safest type of smoke bomb you can make:

    Smoke Bomb Materials

    * sugar (sucrose or table sugar)
    * potassium nitrate, KNO3, also known as saltpeter (buy it online or you can find this at some garden supply stores in the fertilizer section, some pharmacies carry it too)
    * skillet or pan
    * aluminum foil
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