Today I am coming to you with some science about smoke bombs colours. So my question is:
DO YOU LIKE CHEMISTRY?
Well… I hope you do, because pyro is all about it! It’s really hard to understand what’s happening during for example firework’s show or during lighting a smoke bomb. I’ll try to tell you now a little bit about the colours of smoke bombs. Because it’s all about the chemistry 🙂
As you should know, smoke bombs are a fireworks designed to produce smoke upon ignition. The nitrate / sugar mix (used in typical home made smoke bomb) can not be colored. Colored smoke mixes use an entirely different cool burning mixture and vaporize special low-temperature Aniline dyes to produce colored smoke. I’ve never found a reliable source for them. Coloured smoke bombs available in many pyroshops use a mixture of an oxidizer, a fuel, a moderant (to keep the reaction from getting too hot) and a powdered organic dye. When the mixture is burned, the dye evaporates and is forced out of the device, where it condenses in the atmosphere to form a cloud of fine particles, the smoke.
By using different compounds (such as for example dyes or metal salts) you’re able to create following colours:
– blue smoke bomb
– red smoke bomb
– white smoke bomb
– green smoke bomb
– yellow smoke bomb
– orange smoke bomb
– black smoke bomb
– pink smoke bomb
NOTICE: NEVER MIX DIFFERENT DYES IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW THEY’LL REACT!
Because I never tried to create a smoke bomb by myself, I’ll not give you a step by step manual. But I’ll tell you which compounds create different smoke colours.
Let’s start with blue!
To create blue smoke the manufacturers use Solvent Blue 35 (known also as: Oil Blue 35, Blue 2N or Oil Blue B).
Structural formula of Oil Blue 35:
And ball-and-stick model of the Oil Blue 35 molecule:
Other mixtures used for production of blue smokes are:
– Victoria blue BO (very offen)
– Oil Blue A (different name: Solvent Blue 36)
Next one – red!
Red smoke shows up after using Disperse Red 9 (also called C.I. 60505 or 1-methylamino anthraquinone).
Structural formula of Disperse Red 9:
But it’s not the only mixture for a red smoke bomb.
– Solvent Red 1 with Disperse Red 11
– Solvent Red 27
– Solvent Red 24
can also fit to the red smoke bomb.
Time for yellow smoke bomb!
Aniline Yellow is very popular dye for pyrotechnics manufactureres. It has the appearance of an orange powder and it’s manufactured from aniline (read about aniline here: wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniline). Aniline Yellow has many different names. Wanna know them all? 😀
– Brasilazina oil Yellow G
– Ceres Yellow
– Fast spirit Yellow
– Induline R
– Oil Yellow AAB
– Oil Yellow AN
– Oil Yellow B
– Oil Yellow 2G
– Oil Yellow R
– Organol Yellow
– Organol Yellow 2A
– Solvent Yellow
– Somalia Yellow 2G
– Stearix Brown 4R
– Sudan Yellow R
– Sudan Yellow RA
– C.I. 11000
Yeah, that’s a lot of names 🙂
Wanna know how Aniline Yellow looks like?
Skeletal formula and ball-and-stick model:
Do you want to know which dyes creates also other colours? Orange? Green? Violet Raspberry?
LET ME KNOW VIA COMMENT!