Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Facts About Smoke Fireworks And How To Make Them

By James Chen

These are fireworks that don't have much fire and are therefore safer to use than regular fireworks. The chemicals used for them are mildly explosive because they do not burn as fast as the chemicals used for firecrackers and propellants.

The chemicals used in these devices are normally the least explosive ones on account of the fact that the devices are meant to diffuse smoke. Specifically, the oxidant regularly used is potassium nitrate (KNO3). This substance is normally present in our food in very small quantities. If ingested in appreciable amounts, it can cause skin inflammation and itching. Otherwise, the chemical is not harmful.

The fuel used for smoke bombs is plain table sugar. Additionally, some sodium bicarbonate is included in the mixture to stabilize and moderate the combustion process so that there is enough time to produce smoke.

Smoke bombs made from KNO3 and sugar give off white smoke. Colored smoke is possible with powdered mixes which are safer and more convenient to buy off the store shelf than to prepare at home. You can have smoke bombs emitting hues of blues, purples, reds, greens or multi-color combinations

You should take extra steps to make sure that the ingredients you are going to use for your home-made bomb are the right ones... ...verify that the powder you are using is really KNO3!

There are other chemical explosives that are utilized in the making of commercial smoke bombs. Many of them should not be handled by amateurs. Specifically, potassium chlorate (KClO3) should be used with extreme care. As a matter of fact, many experts do not recommend using this chemical by yourself at home. The chlorate compounds are easily ignitable. They will burn in the presence of sulfuric acid, under sudden pressure or by friction. They can burn so fast that they explode .

You can create a nitrate-sugar smoke bomb in two ways. You can either heat the mixture on a frying pan until it liquefies or stir-mix both ingredients with some water until they are dissolved and dry the paste. In this article the first method is discussed.

A good ratio between the ingredients of the bomb mix is 58:37:5. That is 58 % of nitrate, 37 % of sugar and 5 % of sodium bicarbonate. For a faster burning bomb remove the 5 % for the bicarbonate and just use 60:40 for the nitrate and the sugar.

Turn on the flame of your stove to LOW. Use a skillet to heat the ingredients over the flame while constantly stirring with long strokes. You should use a spoon for this purpose. Turn the heat down some more when the sugar starts to liquefy and continue until everything is liquid.

Remove the pan from the heat and pout the mixture out into a piece of aluminum foil. Wrap the clay-like substance in the foil and let it cool down.

When the bomb mixture has cooled, peel away the wrapping. Look for someplace that is in the open air. Place the bomb on a fire-proofed surface. Don't put it on dry leaves or things that burn easily. The safest way to ignite the bomb is to use a long-arm lighter.

Naturally, you shouldn't prepare your bomb long before you intend to use it. Storing these things is not safe.


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