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Home made smoke powder burning.

A smoke bomb is a firework designed to produce smoke upon ignition. Smoke bombs are useful to military units, airsoft games, paintball games,self defense and pranks. While there are smoke-generating devices that are dropped from airplanes, the term "smoke bomb" is used to describe the three types of devices:

  1. A smoke ball is a hollow, cherry-sized sphere of brightly colored clay or cardboard filled with a smoke-generating composition that produces a forceful jet of colored smoke for 10 to 15 seconds.

    The usual chemical equation is 9.6KNO3 + C12H22O11 → 4.8K2CO3 + 7.2CO2 + 11H2O + 4.8N2.

  2. 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.
  3. A smoke canister (or smoke grenade) is a metal can that releases smoke when a pin is pulled. Used by military personnel for signalling or as a screening device for troop movements.

The smoke bomb was first created in 1848, by the famous inventor Robert Yale. He developed the chinese fireworks from the 17th century and modified the formula, this way, it was producing more smoke than before for a longer period of time.

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.

Other means of smoke bombs are usually generated in two widely known ways: cutting up tiny size pieces of a ping pong, ball placing inside of a closed container, and igniting it or mixing the chemicals kno3(potassium nitrate) and sugar while lightly heated in a pan until the mixture starts to form a peanut butter like substance and letting cool.

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 around $5-$40 USD, while smoke bombs often cost around 2 to 3 dollars each.

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