Making smoke

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by jpanhalt, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter Expert

    Jan 18, 2008
    I want to make smoke to simulate spraying from a model crop duster.

    All model and most professional smoke systems use heat from the exhaust to create smoke from oil or from a water-based material (e.g., glycerin-water mixtures). That is probably not practical in this application, as the smoke would need to be piped to the trailing edge of the wing. I have considered using heating coils at the point of generation, but want to find out what other options exist for pure chemical production of smoke.

    Here are some additional thoughts:
    1) I cannot use any pyrotechnic device (e.g., sulfur methods). They are generally illegal for models.

    2) Titanium tetrachloride would work, but produces HCl as a by-product. Not good.

    3) Dry flour has been used, but aggregates too much, doesn't persist, and is not too realistic.

    Does anyone know of any chemical methods for producing smoke that produce less noxious products than HCl?

    Thanks. John
  2. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    CO2 and water?
  3. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter Expert

    Jan 18, 2008
    I keep that mixture for my scotch. In re-thinking the way I put the question, I am trying to decide between two options:

    1) Heat-generated smoke, e.g., putting smoke oil over a glow plug. I assume at least 25W per plug (i.e, two per side) for short periods would work off a lipo 3S battery (max practical drain is about 40 A or 400 W).

    2) Chemical smoke TiCl4 is an obvious approach, but not safe in this context. Solutions of calcium chloride and sodium sulfate mixed in a single spray nozzle might work and would be much safer. I am just fishing for anyone who might have experience that would save me the experimentation.

    Finally, in thinking about the airplane, I would like to keep the weight of the entire device to 16 oz, maybe 20 oz. as an absolute maximum.

  4. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter Expert

    Jan 18, 2008
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    Must be related to the smoke ring machine in Times Square.