Smoke bomb

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Colored smoke used to mark a helicopter landing site
U.S. Marine Corps M-18 Smoke Grenades

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. They are also used in smoke tests.


The smoke bomb was first created in 1848, by UK inventor Robert Yale.[citation needed] He developed 17th-century Chinese-style fireworks and later modified the formula to produce more smoke 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 moderate (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.

Home-made smoke bombs are usually created in two ways. The first way involves cutting up celluloid material—today the main remaining use of celluloid is ping pong balls—placing the small pieces inside an aluminium wrapping or canister, and igniting them. This practice is widely recognized to be a health hazard. Mixing the chemicals KNO3(potassium nitrate) and sugar while lightly heating the mixture until it comes to a peanut-butter-like consistency can also provide fuel for smoke-bombs.

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