Idiots guide to smoke bombs
If you’re into pyrotechnics or chemistry, a fun thing to do every now and then is to construct a smoke bomb. The recipe calls for mostly household items and is fairly simple to make. After all the steps are completed you will have a smoke grenade or bomb that puts out a heavy cloud of smoke, similar to commercial ones, only cheaper. Colored organic dye can also be added to give the smoke color. There are four main steps in the process.
The first step is to gather all the materials you will need. The three main ingredients are potassium nitrate, sugar, and baking soda. You will also need a heat source, frying pan, an empty toilet paper roll, duct tape, a couple cotton swabs, and some sort of fuse. Potassium nitrate, otherwise known as saltpeter, is a highly flammable powder and is one of the three main ingredients in gunpowder. It is used in meat preservative, stump remover, and fertilizer. The easiest thing to buy with almost 85% potassium nitrate is stump remover. This can be found at local garden stores or home improvement stores such as Lowes or Home Depot. It is typically around $7.00 for 16 ounces. One container usually makes quite a few decent size grenades. This Potassium nitrate will serves as an oxidizer for the reaction giving it air so it can react more violently. Sugar is typically a household item and is the primary “fuel to the fire.” baking soda isn’t required in the recipe but is recommended. It will restrict how aggressive the reaction is but it will make the grenade last longer. For the heat source it is a good idea to use a grill or electric hotplate. Each will work but it’s important to use it outside in case something accidently catches fire. If a fuse cannot be bought or found you have the option to make one using the saltpeter and a strip of paper towel. Take a teaspoon potassium of nitrate and sprinkle it along the paper towel strip length wise. Then roll the towel up and twist the ends to prevent powder from spilling out. Now you can use this as you would any fuse.
In the months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor the Manhattan Project--the name given to the atomic bomb program because its original offices were in Manhattan--grew very quickly. And although the Army had been involved since June of 1942, it was just beginning to realize that someone was going to have to be put in overall charge. The man chosen was Leslie Richard Groves, a 46-year-old ...
Once you have all the materials you can begin mixing and cooking. The sugar and potassium nitrate are first. Mix them together in the frying pan at a 3:2 ratio. This ratio can be tweaked slightly to get different results. Another ratio that works well is 5:3. Keep in mind that the more ingredients you put into the frying pan, the longer it will take to cook the mixture. Once you have the correct ratio of sugar to potassium nitrate in the frying pan, begin to cook it on your heat source at low heat. It’s important to use only low heat in case the mixture gets to hot and catches fire. Higher heat will actually burn the saltpeter rendering it useless. The mixture must be stirred for around 15 minutes depending on the size of the batch. After constant stirring for this long it will develop a texture similar to peanut butter. This is when you have the option to put in baking soda and/or organic powdered dye. If baking soda is added only add around 1 to 2 teaspoons. If dye is added, stir in around a tablespoon. Stir for another 5 minutes and it should be ready to put into the container.
The empty toilet paper roll must be covered in duct tape except for one of the ends where you’ll pour in the mix. Then spoonfuls of the mix can be poured into the container. It will be somewhat sticky so you might have to peel it off the spoon. Make sure not to let it come in contact with your skin, the mixture is hot and can burn you. When it is full take a pen or pencil and push it into the blend then pull it back out. This makes a cavity for the cotton swab and fuse. Cram the cotton swab (or two) down into the cavity followed by the fuse. After letting it cool for 30 to 45 minutes it will be ready for ignition. Take it somewhere away from residential areas and people and light it up. IF you are using a homemade fuse be patient because they don’t always work like they should. You will know the mix has ignited when there is a crackling noise. Try not to breathe in the smoke; it’s not the best thing to be exposing to your lungs.
Outdoor components of a residential air-source heat pump A heat pump is a machine or device that transfers thermal energy from one location, called the “source,” which is at a lower temperature, to another location called the “sink” or “heat sink”, which is at a higher temperature. Thus, heat pumps moves thermal energy opposite to the direction that it normally ...
There aren’t a whole lot of practical uses for smoke grenades. The two main reasons they are used are for military purposes and paintball/ airsoft battles. Other than that they are for entertainment purposes. The U.S. army field manual states that smoke grenades are used to “signal aircraft or convey information” and “depending on the tactical situation, supplement or take place of, normal communication means” (U.S. Army) Another use for smoke grenades is on the paintball field. According to Estela Kennen, smoke grenades can be used as a tactical way to move about the field saying “smoke screens can be used as a distraction; the opposing team will assume something is going on where the smoke grenade went off when in reality the troops can be moving elsewhere.” She also goes on to say that it can be used as cover when there is nothing to hide behind. (Kennen)
Regardless of what reason you find to use a smoke grenade they are definitely fun to watch and experiment around with.
Kennen, Estella. “Playing Paintball With Smoke”.” 12 september 2007. www.suite101.com. <http://www.suite101.com/content/playing-paintball-with-smoke-a31020>.
U.S. Army. ” FM 23-30 Chapter 5 Ground Pyrotechnic Signals.” www.enlisted.com. <http://www.enlisted.info/legal/privacy-policy.shtml>.