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Improved Paraffin Smoke


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#1 BlueComet24

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 01:13 AM

Name of composition: Improved Paraffin Smoke (IPS)
Composition Type: Smoke
Creator: BlueComet24
Color: White
Composition:

KNO3                   48%

Paraffin Wax        28%

Powdered Sugar  24%

 

Precautions/Incompatibilites: No common incompatibilites. Don't get hot wax or hot water on yourself!
Procedure/Preparation:

1. Weigh out the KNO3 and powdered sugar. If the KNO3 is not already finely powdered, grind it until it is.
2. Dry the KNO3 and sucrose in an oven. I found that 30 minutes at 120°C (250°F) was enough, but it may take longer.

3. Weigh out the wax and put it in a container to melt it in. Do not use a nice container or cooking ware.

4. Heat a bowl of water to at least 37°C (98.6°F) to melt the wax. You can't get the water too hot, so I recommend heating it until it starts to bubble.

5. Screen together the powders. Make sure to mix them thoroughly and to eliminate any lumps.

6. Put the container with the wax in it into the bowl of hot water. The wax should fully melt and become clear. Don't let any water get into the wax.

7. Stir half the powder mixture into the wax, let the wax melt again, and stir in the rest.

8. Once the composition is melted again, it can be cast into tubes.

 

Notes:

- I use tea candle wax, and a single one of my tea candles weighs just about 14g, exactly enough for 50g of IPS. Other types of wax may work, but I cannot confirm yet if they will. I will test this in the future and provide updates.

- This comp's smoke is prone to flaring (because it's largely particulate paraffin), so make sure to choke your tube or put a cardboard disk with a hole securely on the top of the tube.

- If your chemicals are dry enough and your wax is good, this comp can be lit by American visco. Otherwise (and really always, just to be sure) you should make a hole in the comp before it solidifies and put a prime into it. I recommend something that produces lots of hot slag, such as Peregrin's basic meal gold fountain comp (8 KNO3, 3 S, 2 meal).

- This comp should be very water-resistant, but I have yet to test this.

- Approximately 40-50g of IPS can fit into a 1x2.5" tube, and may burn for as long as two minutes.

- Unlike rocket candy, IPS is a tame smoke comp, and will not explode if there are air bubbles in it. It also (if it's properly choked) does not spit a large flame, making it safer near flammable materials.

- The lack of a need to heat the composition to high heats makes IPS much safer to make than most rocket candy.


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#2 schroedinger

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 02:18 AM

How do you melt parafine wax at 37ºC. I is just softens a little but is nowhere being castable. Also why do you cal it IPS and not legendary like normal?

#3 BlueComet24

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 03:40 PM

Paraffin melts at around 37°C, but you should heat it hotter than that to get it fully liquid. I probably should have been clearer in stating this. What I really meant was that the water must be hotter than 37°C, so heating it until it bubbles should be plenty. Get the water hot enough to fully melt the wax and remelt it several minutes later while it's still warm. I find that 4 minutes in my microwave is enough to keep about 500ml of water hot enough to make 100 or 200g of comp.

My composition is not the same as the "legendary" comp. Legendary smoke is 60 KNO3, 40 paraffin, and 40 powdered sugar, or about 43% KNO3, 28.5% paraffin, and 28.5% powdered sugar. I optimized this comp by making the amounts of ingredients add up evenly to 100, be divisible to easily make a half or quarter batch while still having integer amounts of chemicals, and use whole tea candles one at a time.



#4 BlueComet24

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 08:24 PM

I tested three different kinds of wax: white tea candle wax, Parowax canning wax, and some yellowish wax from scented candles. All were charged into .75x2.5" tubes, primed with about .5g of Peregrin basic meal gold fountain comp, fused with American visco, and capped with aluminum tape.

Results:

The IPS made with tea candle wax lit and was self-sustaining.

The IPS made with Parowax was hesitant to light at first, but did catch fire and was self-sustaining.

The IPS made with the yellowish candle wax did not light and was only self-sustaining after much blowtorching with a propane torch.

I believe that even though it should be more refined, the Parowax did not work as well as the tea candle wax because Parowax is meant for sealing jars, not burning/vaporizing.

Conclusion:

Purer waxes are better for making IPS. The best wax is pure candle wax, free from additives such as fragrances and colorants.

 

I'm currently running another experiment right now. I made a completed smoke flare from tea candle IPS and cast a cylinder of IPS with a hole for prime and fuse. The cast piece is not in a tube and weighs 21.6g. I put it in a vial and covered it with about 15ml of cold water, and will let it sit for several days, then test both the soaked and non-soaked IPS side-by-side.



#5 lloyd

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 06:45 AM

Blue,

I applaud experimentation, but you'd be WAY better-off discarding IPP and those "Peregrin" (Dan Dolata) formulae for good, reputable, 'industry standard' formulae.

 

The problem with Dan's stuff is that the beginner cannot discern from the text what is unduly dangerous, and what is 'normal practice'.

 

He recommends methods that can readily result in maiming or be fatal if they go awry (like cooking 'CIA'-style powder in a glass carafe!!!), and many formulae or instructions that have been mis-copied, mis-attributed, or just never tested by him before inclusion in the book.

 

Get thyself a copy (each!) of Shimizu, Lancaster, and Hardt (at the barest of minimums), then proceed to look up and cross-reference various formulae among those sources, in order to get a better feel for how they're actually used in industry.

 

Dan meant well with that booklet of his, but he didn't execute well, even ignoring major editorial changes recommended by his several proof-readers.  He's accidentally endangered a lot of folks by his omissions as well as his erred inclusions there.

 

And... please tell me the 'vial' you put the water & smoke candle into was polyethylene plastic, not glass, styrene, or acrylic!

 

Lloyd


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#6 BlueComet24

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 11:18 AM

No worries, Lloyd. The Perigrin composition that I was using is just BP with extra sulfur and KNO3. I didn't use any special (or unsafe) procedure to make it, I just screened the powders together.

Of course I used polyethylene. I wouldn't want a pyro composition, even a tame one like IPS, in a glass vial.



#7 lloyd

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 12:16 PM

Good on ya'!

 

Lloyd


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#8 BlueComet24

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 08:21 PM

After letting the cast piece of IPS sit in water for 72 hours, I lit it. It did not ignite from the prime, but eventually did after I held a flame to it (just a lighter, not a torch), then burned the whole way through. I suspect that part of the composition near the surface absorbed some water, but most of it was dry. The other piece that had not been sitting in water ignited from the prime.

It seems that IPS may not be fully waterproof, but is at least water-resistant, which is better than most smoke compositions.


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#9 schroedinger

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 05:43 AM

Ok, i tested it and have to say that it works really good, but no idea how you get it to ignite with visco, but green mix did the trick.

#10 lloyd

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 06:52 AM

And... green mix ignites just fine from visco.  (It's what we call 'priming'! :P )

 

(just kiddin')

LLoyd


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#11 schroedinger

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 08:53 AM

Green mix is a prime, you don't say :P
In his original post he wrote can be ignited by visco

#12 lloyd

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 09:12 AM

Heh! (I knew you knew, but some folks might not have made the connection.)

 

Some visco fuse might do it...  Some are made with green mix, so especially slaggy.

 

LLoyd


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#13 BlueComet24

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 12:28 PM

I've gotten it to light from American visco before (my stuff is quite slaggy indeed) but I always prime it to make sure it lights. I like to use something slower than green mix so my cardboard disk isn't popped off the top.

#14 OldMarine

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 12:31 PM

How large should the choke opening be?
Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#15 schroedinger

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 12:40 PM

I used 39 mm i.d. tube. The plugs where castet from gypsum, bottom solid, top with a ~11mm hole (i used a spend 7, 62x54R casing). Grain lenght 12 cm with 10 cm core lenght.

#16 OldMarine

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 01:07 PM

I'm metric system impaired but I do speak 7.62!

Edited by OldMarine, 29 February 2016 - 01:08 PM.

Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#17 dynomike1

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 01:32 PM

Poor mans 30 06.


There are very few problems that cant be solved with explosives.
                             Explosives are a bang up job.

#18 lloyd

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 01:35 PM

Just 'weld' 25.4mm/inch into your mind, and it's all simple, Patrick!

 

Lloyd


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#19 schroedinger

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 01:39 PM

But nothing else fits into a mosin
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#20 OldMarine

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 04:16 PM

I'll try to remember that Lloyd but if math were a human I'd get a restraining order against it! Thank goodness for Google calculators!

Edited by OldMarine, 29 February 2016 - 04:21 PM.

Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!




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