Name of composition: Improved Paraffin Smoke (IPS)
Composition Type: Smoke
Paraffin Wax 28%
Powdered Sugar 24%
Precautions/Incompatibilites: No common incompatibilites. Don't get hot wax or hot water on yourself!
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.
- 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.