Here's a technique I used to whip up a batch of super cheap and easy to make smoke flares!
WARNING: Ignition of an incendiary or explosive material may not be legal in your area, so check local laws before attempting. Use of this video content is at your own risk.
The first thing I did was grab one of these battery packs from the recycle bin at a local hardware store. Many hardware stores have places to recycle bad batteries, and I just told them I wanted one for a project.
After opening it up, I removed the individual cells and removed the hard paper casings. These are what I wanted to use as the smoke flare container.
The bonus with these is that the bottoms are flat, making it easy to glue them to pieces of cardboard.
When all of the pieces were glued on, and the glue had cooled, the smoke flare composition could be made.
The recipe is identical to one of the compositions I tried when making my solid rocket fuel in this previous project. Basically, it's just 60% KNO3 that I got from some stump remover, and 40% white table sugar.
The only difference between getting a fast burning rocket fuel and slower burning smoke flare is how well they are mixed together. Instead of mixing the components vigorously, they actually need to be mixed as LITTLE as possible to get a slower smokey burn.
On medium heat, the sugar caramelizes and absorbs the KNO3 into a tan liquid, which can be poured into the casings and left to cool and harden.
I inserted some of my homemade fuses that I made in a different project...
And this batch of 10 was complete!
Testing the batch was exciting. The fuses worked great, and the smoke that came from these little casings was thick and lasted about 15 seconds each.
I chose to do this outside in a well ventilated area, for safety.
After the burn, the casings were completely charred, but the bases were still intact and protected the cement from being scorched.
I also tried batches with different ratios of the composition, for slower and faster burns. You can see the results of those attempts in the video at the top of this page.
If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others. Check them out at thekingofrandom.com.