Even if you're just boiling some water, sure as hell, some spaz out there is going to bump into the pot and pour the boiling hot water all over themselves, get third degree burns, and die. (and of course blame it on the person who told them to boil the water)
Now add some high energy chemicals, like Oxidizers and Metal Powders, not to mention some Radioactive material, and you've got a real recipe for disaster. Any chemistry experiment, no matter how simple it may seem, has the potential of being dangerous... even if you follow directions exactly as stated.
The firework formulas always require special attention, for if any pyrotechnic formula ignites unexpectedly, it generally can't be extinguished fast enough. Pyrotechnic (firework) compositions have their own oxygen supply, so they can't be smothered once ignited. Although large quantities of water will extinguish most slower burning compositions, there are even some where the addition of water makes them burn even faster. Some formulas like Flash Powder burn so fast, it's almost instantaneous. If a quantity of it ignites while you're mixing it, before you can blink your eye, move your hand, or turn your face, the skin will have already been burnt off your body.
Pyrotechnic mixtures are sensitive to shock... don't bang on them. They are sensitive to friction... don't grind them... and of course if a spark or flame touches them, they'll ignite or explode too.
USE COMMON SENSE!
Anything that burns has the potential of exploding, so never put a pyrotechnic composition in a glass or metal container. To do so is asking for death. If you're going to mix any of these formulas, make sure you know what you're doing and have a large bucket of water nearby.
- Avoid using large quantities
- Only ignite the mixture outdoors
- Follow any special warnings given
Only ignite pyrotechnic mixtures or completed fireworks with a fuse, never just throw a match in the mix or on the firework.
Conduct these experiments at your own risk, I or TMORG assume no responsibility.
With that.....On with the thread.
Smoke Bombs Formulas
By far, 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.
Potassium Nitrate 60 %
Sugar 40 %
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. To melt the mixture together, you'll need small metal saucepan or other heat resistant container, and an electric hot plate. An electric hot plate is preferred to an open flame heat source because it's a tad safer, and easier to prevent overheating of the mixture.
The mixture must be heated SLOWLY, and over a LOW heat until it just starts to melt. Heating it too quickly, or at too high a temperature will cause it to turn black, burn & ignite making a giant mess, not to mention a fire hazard. In any case, this should all be done outside just in case you overheat it does happen to ignite. As the mixture begins to melt, it will turn brown and look exactly like Carmel Candy (see image above)... after all, you are melting Sugar ( and no, you can't eat it ).
<img src="http://www.unitednuclear.com/smoke2.jpg" alt=" - " />
A step-by-step procedure is outlined below....
1.) 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.
2.) 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.
<img src="http://www.unitednuclear.com/sm3.jpg" alt=" - " />
3.) 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.
<img src="http://www.unitednuclear.com/sm8.jpg" alt=" - " /> <img src="http://www.unitednuclear.com/sm10.jpg" alt=" - " />
4.) 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.
5.) 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.
<img src="http://www.unitednuclear.com/sm12.jpg" alt=" - " />
6.) Before the little blob cools, insert a small piece of Visco Safety Fuse.
<img src="http://www.unitednuclear.com/sm13.jpg" alt=" - " />
Do this to the remainder of the material and allow them to cool and harden.
7.) 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.
<img src="http://www.unitednuclear.com/sm15.jpg" alt=" - " />