Smoke bomb

Smoke bomb

A smoke bomb is a firework designed to produce smoke upon ignition. While there are smoke-generating devices that are dropped from airplanes, the term "smoke bomb" is used to describe the three types of devices:

# A smoke ball is a hollow, cherry-sized sphere of brightly colored clay filled with a smoke-generating composition that produces a forceful jet of colored smoke for 10 to 15 seconds.
# A smoke candle (also called a smoke generator or smoke canister) is a cylindrical cardboard tube with a fuse, usually 1½ inches (37 mm) in diameter and several inches long and resembling a giant firecracker. Such a device creates a thick cloud of smoke for up to several minutes. Uses include providing smoke for smoke testing and creating a smoke-screen for paintball and airsoft games.
# A smoke canister (or smoke grenade) is a metal can that releases smoke when a pin is pulled. Used for signalling by military personnel.

Colored smoke devices use a formula that consists of an oxidizer (typically potassium chlorate, KClO3), a fuel (generally sugar), a moderant (such as sodium bicarbonate) to keep the reaction from getting too hot, and a powdered organic dye. The burning of this mixture evaporates the dye and forces it out of the device, where it condenses in the atmosphere to form a "smoke" of finely dispersed particles.

A simple smoke powder can be made by gently mixing saltpeter (potassium nitrate, KNO3) and sugar in roughly a ratio of 60% saltpeter to 40% sugar; add more sugar for a slower burn and more KNO3 for a faster burn. The more finely ground the saltpeter and sucrose, the better the smoke bomb. The mixture can be used as a loose powder or consolidated by adding enough water to make a thick paste, making a small lump of about a tablespoon in size, and letting it dry overnight. This is much safer than heating such a mixture, which has resulted in too many cases of accidental ignition. [cite news |title=Smoke Bomb gone awry |url=,%20Jennifer |publisher=New York Times ]

This formula has a variant in which the ingredients are left in powder form and the granulated sugar is replaced with powdered sugar.

More success could potentially be enjoyed when one adds another flammable substance to the mixture without "cooking" it. The best choice for this is melted paraffin. []

Devices or cartridges containing only the dye are used with an external heat source in a smoke machine.

In the military, smoke bombs are a means for creating smoke-screens.

Smoke bombs are often sold as consumer fireworks, but smoke grenades (with pins rather than external fuses) are not considered fireworks and are usually not sold at fireworks shops. The military-style smoke grenades also cost much more than smoke bomb fireworks. Military-style smoke grenades often cost for around $40 USD, while smoke bombs often cost a few cents.


External links

* [ Smoke bomb information & Guides]
* [ A pyroguide on pyrotechics] has more information on smoke bombs.
* [ Birthplace of the "Legendary Smokebomb"] - Complete guide on its manufacture. (Though it has the same ingredients as another well known mixture, the ratio of ingredients and process to make it are what make it different)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • smoke bomb — smoke bombs N COUNT A smoke bomb is a bomb that produces clouds of smoke when it explodes …   English dictionary

  • smoke bomb — smoke ,bomb noun count a bomb that creates a cloud of smoke when it explodes …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • smoke bomb — n. a kind of bomb containing chemicals which when ignited give off dense clouds of smoke …   English World dictionary

  • smoke bomb — n something that lets out clouds of smoke when it is thrown, used especially by police to control crowds …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • smoke bomb — noun a bomb that gives off thick smoke when it explodes; used to make a smoke screen or to mark a position • Syn: ↑smoke grenade • Hypernyms: ↑bomb * * * noun : a chemical bomb containing a smoke producing substance; especially : any of various… …   Useful english dictionary

  • smoke bomb — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms smoke bomb : singular smoke bomb plural smoke bombs a bomb that creates a cloud of smoke when it explodes …   English dictionary

  • smoke bomb — /ˈsmoʊk bɒm/ (say smohk bom) noun 1. a bomb which, when set off, emits a large quantity of smoke, as used for military purposes, in theatricals, demonstrations, etc. –verb (t) 2. to hurl a smoke bomb at. –smoke bomber, noun …   Australian English dictionary

  • smoke bomb — bomb which emits smoke in order to create a smoke screen or signal …   English contemporary dictionary

  • smoke bomb — An air dropped bomb that emits smoke either on impact or while in descent. The former normally is a practice bomb, and the smoke is used to plot errors; the latter is used to calculate wind velocity …   Aviation dictionary

  • smoke bomb — a bomb that produces a continuous discharge of smoke rather than an explosion, used to mark a target for aerial attack, indicate wind direction, produce a smoke screen, etc. [1915 20] * * * …   Universalium

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