Batman Smoke Pellets




Posted in TechnologyGadgets

Introduction: Batman Smoke Pellets

About: I am a student who likes to build and tinker with things and I use my heritage as a basis for inspiration in my daily life.

You look up at the night sky and happen to see a massive spotlight with a symbol of a bat in it. You know immediately who this is for, The Dark Knight, Batman. If you ever imagined Batman fighting crime you might think about his suit and his bat-mobile, but what about all the fancy gadgets? Ever wanted to have or make your own piece of The Dark Knight's famous gadgets for fighting crime? Well read through this instructable and you can see how to become one step closer to being the ultimate superhero.

One of Batman's iconic gadgets is his smoke pellets. He uses them to escape just about anything in the blink of an eye. These are technically called impact smoke bombs, which literally means smoke bombs that ignite by impact. The way it works is by a sort of chain reaction of multiple different elements. This is one of the more exciting applications of science, being able to turn the fictional into the reality.

Step 1: Materials


-Snappers (left over fireworks)


-Black Powder

-Magnesium Fire Starter

Potassium Nitrate (for instructions on how to make this part, visit my favorite DIYers account, The King Of Random. follow all of his steps in preparation but don't use any yarn, just let the solution solidify and brown a little. Also he has his measurements in grams but I have converted that to tsp.)



-Ping Pong Balls

-Black Spray Paint

Step 2: First Layer: Snappers

To start, cut two equal sized squares of tissue paper. Set one aside for now.

Next take 3 snappers and cut them open. Pour them all into the center of the tissue paper. Set this aside.

Step 3: Grinding the Flint

Take your magnesium fire starter and remove the flint rod from the magnesium (I did so by clamping a large nail in a vise and placing the flint rod on the point and hammering down gently).

The next step will be to grind this into powder. Take your file and lay it down. Then slowly and gently scrape the flint rod along the file. You can then transfer this dust onto a small sheet of paper.

Keep doing this until you get a decent sized pile (use my image as a reference). Once you have enough just sprinkle it on the layer of snappers you previously laid down.

Step 4: Black Powder and Potassium Nitrate

The next part will be adding a little more flammable fuel to your smoke pellet. Take some black powder/ gun powder (If you can't manage to find this as is, then try opening something that has it inside it. i.e. firecracker (just the black powder not the bentonite)) and sprinkle it onto the snappers and flint. It is important that you don't mix these when combining them, we need them to ignite in a specific order.

The final part will be putting a chunk of your potassium nitrate mix on top of it all.

Step 5: Wrapping

Take all four corners and bring them to one point and then twist until you have it moderately tight.

Then take your other tissue square and place the penny in the center. Then put the wrapped item on top of the penny and wrap it all up.

You can now tape the top and trim it so it is smaller and won't unravel.

You have now completed your very own impact smoke pellet! Keep reading to see how to make it look like one of the Dark Knight's gadgets!

Step 6: **OPTIONAL** Ping Pong Ball Housing

First you'll need to take a ping pong ball and cut along the seal. Then depending on what color you want, spray paint the two halves.

When that's done drying, hot glue (or tape) the impact smoke pellet into one half of the ping pong ball.

To seal it up just put a ring of hot glue around the area you cut and put the other half on top of it. You may also want to clean it up a bit and reinforce the seal.

When the hot glue is all done drying, your Batman Smoke pellet is complete and ready to tested!

Step 7: How It Works

Before I show you the finished product in action, I think I should explain how this little contraption works.

1) The penny acts a flat surface for the snappers to hit and activate.

2) The snappers then activate due a coating surrounding the rocks that creates a small spark.

3) That spark then ignites the flint powder which makes the spark a little bigger.

4) Then the spark given off by the flint is enough to ignite the black powder.

5) The flame created by the black powder is big enough and strong enough to then burn the potassium nitrate which smokes quite a bit.

This chain reaction of elements is a little lengthy but all together a pretty simple concept. Now that you know Batman's secret to his famous smoke pellets, its time to put it in action.

Step 8: Testing It Out

First what you need to do is go out and find a band of criminals somewhere that you can disappear from... or maybe just go outside! Then to make it smoke just throw it down! (make sure you throw it right-side up, if you put it on a table or the ground it should automatically position itself that way because it is attached to one side) You will hear the casing pop open and then the smoke will follow. For added effect get a crowd and stand by a corner, then throw it down and run behind the corner so it looks like you've disappeared! (This may only fool the young ones though)

Congratulations on making your very own gadget worthy of the Dark Knight's utility belt! So all that's left to do is to go out and protect the streets of Gotham!

Click here to see it in action!

**NOTE: The potassium nitrate will burn, so be cautious and never throw this at anyone. Also it will leave your ping pong housing a pile of melted plastic so if you don't want to take all the time making it I suggest leaving that step out, it is purely aesthetic.**

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    Is there a way to create smoke that is more intense, that is to say, thicker and/or last longer?

    SMOKE BOMB! (throw hands in air while saying that and then runs away with no smoke bomb)

    Ever considered a thin papiermache sphere which you mold about a cue ball or some such and then scaling up the whole recipe cubically (i.e. ^3 in calculator terms) ? Not sure what preparatory risk is inherent to this idea since ive never worked with these compounds..i feel it would make for a quicker, brighter cloud if you did a thin covering of a few flashpaper layers..also ? Anyone know the chemistry of colored smoke mixes within this framework? Many thanks all around...

    1 reply

    To clarify..layer the mache into hemispheres first, dry them, and then just use masking tape or some such to secure the hemispheres together...

    Hmm..if I had to say how to get more smoke out, I'd say one thing you could do is instead of having one big hollow section once you glue it back together, what you could do is put a cut out circle of plastic from like say a soda bottle between them before you seal it. Then what you could do is on the other half is put another of those pouches of smoke mix, and instead of using penny's I'd suggest splurging just a bit and buying a big bag of metal washers or make some out of scrap wood. That way you could use one smoke bomb and get the output of two. Simple and smart use of your current resources to get more smoke, or you could add more of the smoke mix around the small package inside so that when the snaps go off it will still ignite the rest of the mix. Hell combine both of what I just said and you could have a rather large cloud I think. Though if you do that I would suggest using some cheap plastic epoxy, you could get enough to do a good batch for about 10 or so dollars for a large thing of LocTite, that way you wouldn't have to worry about the hot glue getting into the lose smoke mix and either A)possibly setting it off or B) clumping it up and not working as well.

    Is there a way to get more smoke out of these?

    Would stringing them together in a net pattern work in a way to create more?

    These are so cool!!!

    As a Batman fan since the Animated Series, I can honestly say this is a dream come true. Thanks for posting.

    All I need now is a utility belt to keep them in.

    1 reply

    That's awesome! And hey you never know what my next project will be. Thanks for supporting my work!

    This is great! I really enjoyed your Instructable and the result.

    If you don't mind a spot of constructive criticism, I would be nice to have a link, or a description for the Potassium Nitrate section. I know it's easy enough to Google, but it would be nice to know that one was following similar recipe to what you used.

    If you would like to embed the video, which you should, 'cos it's awesome, you can go to your Youtube page and click on the "embed" button below the video, just paste that link in to the instructables HTML editor and that should do it (you may need a Pro account, but judging by your cool Instructables I take it you have received a free one along the way at some point ;-)

    1 reply

    Ok I hope that fixed the problem and thank you so much for helping me make my instructables the best they can be!

    The picture and your write-up made it seem like it was slow and not much smoke. However i watched your video and the effect is fantastic! I would say it is just about right.

    If there was a tiny bit more heat, the ping pong ball should vanish. Any time i have held a flame to one, it has an effect like magicians paper... wooshh! :-)

    Great instructable, i really enjoyed this one :-)

    1 reply

    Thanks so much! and yeah I know there are different kinds of ping pong balls, the ones I bought were plastic and really cheap so thats why I bought them lol

    Fire! he he he Yea Fire!

    Very good, I like the idea very much, but I somehow feel there should be more smoke... Maybe a better way would be through chemical reaction instead of a physical reaction, like in heat or cold packs if you know what I mean. I would appreciate your answer to this idea.

    1 reply

    Yeah I understand what you mean and I have pondered the idea its just the only thing I'm worried about when using chemicals is that you'd have to incase each one to prevent it from just going off whenever and you might need a lot of force to bust its container. Even then its still unpredictable and dangerous so I would say if you plan to adventure with chemicals be cautious... and let me know your results too! Also the amount of smoke it generates can be changed by adding and removing chunks of Potassium Nitrate. Thanks for commenting and good luck!

    I always wondered how those were done. Thanks for sharing. I may have to make a couple. Ahh the joys of living in an unincorporated county in the middle of nowhere.

    I am batman lol great job these could be fun playing ninja